The ex-militants said their decision to support Buhari’s second term bid was based on his efforts at deepening peace and stability in the Niger Delta by initiating meaningful projects and enhancement of human capital development through the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
In a statement signed by its President Edeinowei Galabagalaba and Secretary, Gbobgo Eduobor, the group dismissed threats by a self-styled General Isreal Eshanekpe Akporodo to work against President Buhari’s re-election. It said Akporodo’s threat was an effort at seeking political patronage.
“The so-called National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-agitators which Akporodo claims to lead, is a phantom group merely on the pages of newspapers to promote his personal interest. He lacks the capacity to drive a process that would negatively affect the political fortunes of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Niger Delta region.
We are resolute in our decision to ensure victory for Buhari in the Niger Delta in the 2019 presidential election. Towards this end, we have commenced consultative meetings to forge a common front. The Coalition of Progressive Niger Delta Ex-Militants, comprising several genuine camp leaders and their foot soldiers affirm our unwavering support for President.
Only last month, Prof. Charles Dokubo, the Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), has advised Niger Delta ex-agitators to support the return of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. Dokubo gave the advice in a statement issued by Mr Murphy Ganagana, Special Assistant to the Coordinator, Media on Wednesday in Abuja at the end of his meeting with the 31 leadersof the ex-agitators.
He said it is imperative for the people of Niger Delta to be at the mainstream politically to regain losses occasioned by being at the periphery.
“I want all of us to think deep and fast on what we will benefit if our people do not support this administration and bring back President Buhari; the alternative will be too ghastly to even contemplate. “This programme is on and for me, this government has been so reliable; we just have a little hitch in the releases, but the support of this government for the programme is enormous,” he added.
According to him, some politicians can offer juicy gifts to people to secure their support for the 2019 election. “They can tell you all sorts and promise you heaven on earth, but let us be focused and move this programme to greater heights and achieve all that we have set for ourselves and make the Niger Delta great again. “These are political times and there is temptation. There are people parading themselves as leaders,” he said.