Former militant leaders in the Niger Delta region are currently divided over the alleged preferential treatment being given to a few of their colleagues.
The former fighters are also at loggerheads over the controversy surrounding the completion of the East-West Road.
It was gathered that while a few former fighters continued to enjoy contracts awarded to them under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, others expressed regret that they were not given similar consideration.
It was also learnt that a meeting organised by Ateke Tom at his Lagos residence to discuss the way forward on the East-West Road and other issues affecting the development of the region was scuttled by an aide to the president.
The top president’s aide, according to sources, succeeded in luring some of the ex-militant leaders away from the meeting.
The aide had told them that the meeting held at Ateke Tom’s residence was sponsored by the opposition to fight President Jonathan, a claim, which was allegedly dismissed by one of the ex-fighters.
A source at the meeting called by Ateke Tom explained that it was later discovered that gathering of the former Niger Delta militants in Lagos was not against President Jonathan.
He stated that the meeting was convened to address the state of the East-West Road as well as the issue of marginalisation within their ranks, recalling that a top former militant leader from Delta State was enjoying so much preferential treatment in terms of contract awards.
Meanwhile, a group known as the Niger Delta and Good Governance Network has called President Jonathan to sack any of his aides found to be working against the development of the oil rich region.
The group blamed the absence of development in the oil region to the poor performance of some of President Jonathan’s aides, whose responsibility was to ensure the provision of basic infrastructure in the area.