Society tackles youth group for wrongly accusing defence chief over Niger Delta

Northern Socio-Economic Recovery Team (NSERT), a civil society organisation, has berated the Amalgamated Arewa Youth Groups for accusing the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor of romancing with Niger Delta militants.

NSERT Convener, Yusuf Gidado and its Secretary, Danladi Goni, stated on Tuesday in Abuja that the youth group was also wrong to have accused Irabor of militarising other zones, but the Niger Delta region.

The Arewa Youth Groups made the allegations against Irabor during a protest to NNPC Ltd.

The protest was to demand the termination of a pipeline protection contract awarded by the Federal Government to former militant leader, Mr Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo).

NSERT described the youth group as misguided and ungrateful.

It stated that they were likely being backed by those engaging in illegal bunkering or those benefitting from the security challenges in the northern part of Nigeria.

“As stakeholders who are monitoring developments in our region, we are appalled by those wild and unsubstantiated allegations against the military and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

“They should tell Nigerians the linkage between pipeline protection contract awarded by the Ministry of Petroleum and the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“The CDS since his appointment has visited the Niger Delta several times and intensified the fight against illegal oil bunkering which has saved the country hundreds of billions of naira,’’ NSERT stated.

It noted that the synergy being promoted by the defence chief had ensured that bandits and terrorist groups in the northern region were constantly under fire leading to mass surrender.

It urged the youth group that protested to NNPC to realise that it would take Nigeria decades to recover from banditry and insurgency that had plagued the region.

“We are beginning to think they are being sponsored by those who are angry with on-going successful military operations in the northern region,’’ NSERT stressed. (NAN)