By Salim Yunusa

The South-South Emerging Leaders’ Forum (SELF) has told President Muhammadu Buhari and all the Niger Delta leaders to hold a former governor, Seriaki Dickson, responsible in case of any outbreak of violence in the Niger Delta region.


The forum also described as irresponsible and disgraceful the accusation made against the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, by the former governor of Bayelsa State over the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).



Dickson had accused Sylva of proposing 2.5 per cent operating surplus to host communities against President Muhammadu Buhari’s 5 per cent in the Petroleum Industrial Bill when he addressed the National Assembly over the contentious bill.


Dickson asked the host communities in the region to hold the minister responsible for the three per cent approved for them.


Already, a militant group, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC), had threatened to resume hostilities over the 3 per cent allocated to host communities in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly, which it describes as unfavourable.


But responding to Dickson’s accusation through a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Benjamin Kolowei, and made available to newsmen Saturday in Abuja, SELF warned the former governor to stop playing politics with the PIB issue.


The forum accused the former governor of being behind the move to destabilise the South-South, using the PIB as a cover.


According to the group, Dickson must explain to his constituents why he abandoned the meeting where the contentious bill was being discussed for frivolous reasons.



The statement also accused Dickson of contributing nothing to the realization of the PIB and the development of host communities even as a sitting governor.


The group said: “Under the PDP administration, with President Goodluck Jonathan from Bayelsa, Dickson as a sitting governor, Alison Madueke as Minister of Petroleum and the PDP dominated National Assembly, the PIB could not see the light of the day.


“The likes of Senator Dickson should bury their heads in shame and by now be answering questions on their ignominious roles instead of heaping blame on patriotic Minister of State for Petroleum.


“A witch cried last night and a baby died this morning. Who doesn’t know that the witch killed the baby? Senator Dickson should be held responsible over the latest move to threaten the peace of the Niger Delta region.


“We will henceforth hold Senator Dickson and his types responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta, because Dickson has openly incited, instigated and called for violence through his recent statements,” the forum said.


The forum advised Senator Dickson to stop instigating violence in the peaceful South-South region.


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