On Wednesday, 23rd of September, will forever remain a memorable day for former war lords across the Nine states of the Niger -Delta region. This wasn’t really another day for arms and armnitions disbandment but a moment of reflection, emotions and solidarity support for the family of late Gen Passman Golukumor, a man best described by friends as a man with diverse characters and pedigree.
The book ” The Militant with a Pen” a 79 pages book, Five topics and nine chapters, reflects a personal account by the writer. Mr. Passman Akpokaboemi- owei, on an account of the belligerent activities of the Niger Delta militant and the Nigerian soldier during the struggle.
The writer who depict the lost hero as a business man, politician and also a leader in the Niger Delta, stated that he has seen him act in diverse ways, most especially the struggle for the emancipation of the region.
He further said”He was one of those actors that, who through their actions and activities led to the introduction of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, of which interest I represent today. I learnt and benefitted so much from his wealth of knowledge and keenness to issues.
Late Golukumor was a goal getter, a freedom fighter and a humble fellow, he said.
The 43 years old fighter died on the 23th of September, leaving behind legacies after achieving enviable exploits during the Niger Delta struggle.
Reviewing the book, Mr. Patrick Akpos, whose voice was faintly heard, welcomed everyone with a smile that was barely noticed because of the uncontrollable tears from his chick and said”We are gathered here in harmony without our brother whose arms struggle was to emancipate the people of the region. He proceeded that the book”The Militant with a Pen” written in honour of our Late brother Gen. Golukumor and all the fallen heroes.
He said the book is”A Niger-Delta literature that chronicles the struggle of the Niger-Delta people as regard the struggle of oil in the region. It reveals the injustice arising from oil exploitation and exploration in the region. This pictures in the mind the remote causes of the struggle, it justifies the action of the people of the oil rich region from time in memory.
The novel also unfolds the innocents arable land of the Niger-Delta, the main occupation of the people was fishing and farming until oil exploration changed the narrative. The peoples sources of livelihood has been long destroyed. The Creek was totally covered with crude oil, therefore no breathing space for the fishes……Oil spills has also polluted the water our only source for drinking and washing.
According to the Chief launcher, and a personal friend to the deceased, Gen. Aso Tambo, who spoke with passion while addressing the occasion said, as a growing child their parents have been in war with government over the years for decades and there was no positive result to their unending war, but this generation decided to pull the bull by the horn in agitation to stopping the intimidation.
Narrating further he said, several crisis in the region gave us a knowledge on the use of sosphiticated fire arms and arminitions, and at the end of the struggle the one we all know was the “Warri Crisis” that happened in 1996/1997, that crisis helped increased our knowledge on the use of arms.
Tambo, who was visibly emotional and almost full of tears, disclosed that after the crisis they resolved that because of the marginalization, they must engage the multinational oil companies operating in the region in an attempt to stop them from their exploitation and exploration; we later took it upon ourselves to fight for our people by kidnapping expatriates that work with the oil companies to disenable them from working in our region, because we saw that their activities were illegal before the law.
We weren’t at anytime defeated by the Nigerian Government he exclaimed.
Continuing, he said, they took permission us to give us the Presidential Amnesty; they begged us to accept and we accepted voluntarily and left the creeks, so as to dwell in the society.
The Speaker who also doubles as the National Chairman, 6162 Presidential Amnesty Phrase 2, Mr. Aso Tambo, while speaking to newsmen threatened to drag the federal government before the International Court of Justice, if the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), is scrapped.
Tambo, who made the position of the group and other Ex-militants leaders known said, a six years ultimatum was given to the government to develop the region but its been ten years and no reasonable project can be pointed to in the region.
After the event to mark two years remembrance of a former agitator, Late Gen Passman Golukumor, and launching of a book in his honour titled”The Militant with a Pen”, which took place in Yenagoa, and witnessed the heavy presence of former agitators to join in honouring their former colleague.
“We voluntarily did what we did, the government didn’t defeat us, they begged us to accept the offer, so we are not weak”
The Ex-agitator said they will be very grateful to the government if the program is eventually scrapped inspite of all the promises made and none fulfilled because that will justify the reason for the court.
“When the federal government came to consult and negotiate with us to accept the Amnesty offer, we gave them because we asked them why initiating the Amnesty program and they told us it was because they can’t develop the region because there was no peace. We ask them that why didn’t they develop since we got independence that its now they want to develop the area, it was if we knew, with the peace in the area, its been 10 years after we laid down arms to ensure the government develop the region but nothing have been done”
“If there was any MOU between us and the government then it is the government that has faulted, and the only way to sustain peace is to allow the Amnesty programme continue pending when government will develop the region. One of the reason why we agree was for us to see the same development witnessed in Abuja and Lagos replicated here in our region.
“Our intention of the struggle is to ensure the region is developed like Lagos and Abuja, because during the struggle the security agents intimidated and maimed us in our rightful struggle but we still agree to laid down arms, the way things are going we might be tempted to renew hostility in the creek, and return back to our normal struggle.
“Today we here to remember one of our own that did everything for the emancipation of the people of the region, this is not the time for arms struggle but a time for intellectual struggle through the pen. We agreed voluntarily to accept and be integrated back to the society as good citizens of the country, we are no more militants but Ex-agitators, and we don’t pursue our rights with guns any more,” he concluded.