16 March 2015, Yenagoa — The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has denied the claim by some ex-militant leaders in the state, that he has hijacked the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, crude oil pipeline surveillance contract for oil bearing communities in the state.
He said though the state government had established a firm, Izon-Ibe Security Company, to supervise the implementation of the terms of the surveillance contract among the benefiting communities, the reason for setting up the outfit was part of efforts to address the challenges of youth unemployment in the state.
A Government House statement issued in Yenagoa and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Daniel Iworio-Markson, said the security outfit was basically set up to provide special training for youths and engage them for the purposes of security services
According to the statement, “the Izon-Ibe Security firm is a limited liability company that is a community-based security and empowerment scheme for Bayelsa youths across the communities with the active involvement of the chiefs and leaders to train youths in the surveillance of pipeline and guard duties.”
The management of the Izon-Ibe Security Company, which has Chief Joshua Fumudoh as Chairman and Chief James Jephthah as Managing Director, with a representative of the Ijaw Youth Council, (IYC) among others on its board is expected to take steps to engage youths to go for the necessary training for job placements in the company.
It stated that, the government’s attention has been drawn to some ex-militant leaders, whose activities constitute a breach of the existing peace, noting that, hitherto, they were beneficiaries of pipeline contracts which they failed to execute.
The statement expressed displeasure that, such ex-militants were being used by those it described as misguided politicians to embark on senseless public demonstrations within and outside the state capital.
“Sadly, these ex-militants, who have mismanaged the Amnesty programme to short change their followers, are again planning to use the innocent youths to play out the script of their sponsors to malign the state government and destabilize the state for their selfish financial interest.
“In addition to the Amnesty programme, which they control exclusively, these ex-militant leaders also have a share of the pipeline surveillance contract, but they are fighting to be the only ones to carry out this function throughout the state. They have no capacity to do this and it doesn’t make sense because there are so many youths and chiefs in the state that can also be involved in their communities for accountability.
“The position of the government is that, pipeline surveillance contracts are not for ex-militant leaders alone, most of whom hail from a particular local government area.
*Samuel Oyadongha – Vanguard