Jonathan Didn’t Do Anything For The Niger Delta! Maybe For The North And West – Boyloaf

PremiumTimes interview by Aderonke Ogunleye:

A former militant leader in the Niger Delta, Ebikabowei Victor Ben, a.k.a General Boyloaf, speaks to PREMIUM TIMES’ Aderonke Ogunleye about the outgoing administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, and the incoming Muhammadu Buhari government. Boyloaf says the oil rich Niger Delta did not benefit from the Jonathan Presidency. He pledges to work with Mr. Buhari, and explains why former militants in the region did not carry out their threats to go to war if Mr. Jonathan lost the March 28 presidential election.


PT: Do you think the South West and the Northern part of Nigeria were marginalized under the leadership of Goodluck Jonathan?

Boyloaf: Did people from the South-South benefit? If you come to Bayelsa State, can you count how many people benefited? That is the president’s state. When the APC was going for campaigns, they made a statement that there is a town that they didn’t have light, and people said Otuoke. Then (Gov. Chibuike) Amaechi said “I didn’t mention name”. But can you imagine that in that place there is no road? You see, what Jonathan did was that he favoured the North and West. Go to the Niger Delta and see. He favoured the North. He did Almajiri. Then go to the West you will see the railway, you will see all what he’s doing there. What is happening in Niger Delta? Nothing! It is better to go there and see things for yourself. Jonathan did not do anything for his people, for his region.

PT: Maybe he planned to do that in his second term in the office?

Boyloaf: I don’t believe in that. Charity begins at home. Jonathan was supposed to have started from his area because anything can happen the next day like what has happened now. So, what are you telling me? What about (late President Umaru) Yar’Adua? He did the airport in Katsina. He started from his own area. See, that is what Jonathan was supposed to do to. I have that belief right from time because they never wanted a Niger Delta person to be in government. We know that one because they will seal a lot of deals. I am a mariner. I know what is going on at the sea.  For instance, like we are talking about subsidy, we know the people that do deals.

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PT: What about the East West road?

Boyloaf: If Buhari comes and if he wants the Niger Delta people to work with him, we will be ready to work with him. It was not Jonathan that started the East-West Road. Obasanjo started the road and then Yar’Adua inherited it. Also, after the death of Yar’Adua, Jonathan inherited it and it continued from there. Governance is continuous process. As Buhari comes on board he will also inherit it and finish it. That is my belief for sure.

PT: Are you afraid that the incoming government will terminate the pipeline contract?

Boyloaf: Well, to me I am not afraid of anything. I am fully confident and if they terminate it the better for us because we will know that the government doesn’t want peace. So, that’s my own belief. I’m not afraid of anything. We will be ready to work with any person that has the Niger Delta people at heart. If you come with good ideas I think we will also work with you.

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