The USD 40 million paid to ex-militants is illegal and indefensible – ACN


The Action Congress of Nigeria has described as illegal, unconstitutional and indefensible the USD 40 million dollars being paid annually to some ex- militants ostensibly to guard the country’s pipelines.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed the party said one of the main causes of the over heating of the polity today  is the reckless manner political power is exercised and monopolised by  a few individuals.  Regretably some actions and inaction of this Admnistration have lent credence to the widely held belief that this administration is waging and exerting power only for the benefits of a section of the country, the party added.
The party recalled that on the 22nd of  January 2012 it  issued a press release in which it queried the rationale behind the memo that was presented to the Federal Executive Council that month seeking the Council’s approval for a so-called strategic concessioning partnership between NIMASA and Global West to enforce regulatory compliance and surveillance of the entire Nigerian Maritime domain.
In the same press release the party expressed serious concerns particularly because the Federal Government  actually withdrew a bill before the National Assembly that would have carried out the same functions now being outsourced to a private firm.
We state again emphatically that it is totally unacceptable  and unconscionable – even unprecedented especially in a fragile federation like ours – for any government to hand over the security of its entire maritime domain to a private firm  a group of ex – militants for that matter given the far reaching implications  of such a decision for trade, security, ports and shipping of the country.
What is the agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in allowing this to happen? Why would a government so willingly abdicate its responsibility of ensuring the security of its maritime domain? What were the ministers thinking when they approved this dangerous memo, the party asked.
The Action Congress  has dismissed as self serving, irresponsible , untenable and illogical attempts to defend this outrageous decision to hand over the security of not only our entire maritime domain but also the responsibility of protecting our pipelines to ex- militants. In the first instance  a decision as momentous as this ought to have been a subject of rigorous national debate. The entire transaction lacks transparency and due process and finally it passes a vote of no confidence in our armed forces and security agencies who are constitutionally mandated to provide these services.
According to the party, those who sought to justify the payments on the grounds  that since the militants took over security of our pipelines oil theft has been on the decline ( an entirely false claim) and that production has gone up have completely missed the point. The real issues  at stake apart from those raised above are as aptly put by the spokesman for the Arewa Consultative Forum, Anthony Sanni , that it is the inalienable right of Nigerians to know how they are governed and how their resources are allocated and  that the Federal  Government must  at all times conduct its affairs  in conformity  with the constitution  of the country to ensure that no individual or section of the country dominate access to natural resources.
In conclusion the party calls on the National Assembly to immediately wade into this matter  with a view to reversing this dangerous  development in view of its national  security implications. We also once again call on all Nigerians to show interest in this matter which has far- reaching implications for the country’s continued existence as one entity.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here