Repentant militants in the Niger Delta have made a renewed case for the renewal of the contract for the security of oil pipelines belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) .
The ex-militants, under the aegis of the Leadership Forum for Peace in the Niger Delta, are also of the opinion that the prevailing peace in the region can be sustained if the Federal Government ensures adequate funding of the amnesty programme.
National President of the Forum, 'General' Reuben Wilson , who spoke in an interview in Port Harcourt, the River State capital, Friday, shortly after arriving from Benin, Edo State where the ex-militants met to review the state of affairs in the region and passed a vote of confidence on the presidential adviser on the Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku.
Wilson lamented that cases of crude oil theft may have been high because all the over 3,000 ex-militants that were engaged to protect the pipelines were now roaming the streets because the contract has been cancelled by the Federal Government.
According to him, if the Federal Government really wants the pipelines to be fully protected,it should ensure that the salaries meant for the security contract is released as at when due.
"We can stop the illegal refineries in the creeks. You can see the difference between when we were in the creeks and we used to have a production capacity of 600 barrels per day pay. Now, we can produce up to 2.7 million barrels per day. The difference is clear. That means if we continue that way, the nation would make more money from oil," he said.
Wilson also urged the Federal Government to ensure that the presidential amnesty office was not starved of funds because "the presidential adviser has been able to drive the programme successfully over this period."