Ex-militants lay siege to East-West Road

Emma Amaize
ASABA- EX-MILITANTS laid siege to the East-West Road, weekend, at Orhoro community in the outskirt of Bomadi local government area, Delta State with trailers and almost lynched one of their former leaders for allegedly embezzling their allowances.

Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mamman Tsafe confirmed the development when contacted, pointing out that the police was already working to contain the situation. Men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, on the Niger-Delta from Bomadi were deployed to the scene before normalcy finally returned, but the ex-militants insisted on correct payment of N65, 000, which each of them is entitled in a month.

Meantime, the Federal Government has ordered the Joint Task Force on the Niger-Delta, Police Commands and other security agents in the Niger-Delta to synergize and beef up security in Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja and affected states following the latest threat by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta to resume hostilities.

The Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim was said to have dispatched a circular to the this effect to Commissioners of Police across the country, while the National Security Adviser to the President, Major –General Andrew Owoye Azazi, rtd, was leant to have conveyed the Federal Government’s directive to the security chiefs.

On the barricade by ex-militants , which disrupted traffic for hours on the East-West Road, last Friday, it was learnt that the protest was not against the Federal Government, but against some ex-militant leaders, who deduct money from the N65,000 allowance paid to each of the ex-militants without their consent.

It was gathered that the office of the Special Adviser to the President and on Niger-Delta and chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Committee, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, had done everything practically possible to ensure that the N65, 000 monthly stipend for to the ex-militants undergoing training get to them, but a number of the ex-militant leaders take away money from the allowances of their boys for unstated reasons.

Director of Public Affairs of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Henry Ugbolue confirmed in a phone chat with Vanguard, Monday, that about one year, the office had been battling the phenomenon, saying, “We are against anybody tampering with the allowances paid to the ex-militants”.

One of the ex-militants said, “Our protest is not against the Amnesty Office, it is against our former leaders who are tampering with the allowance paid to us by the government. They should stop it”.

The Amanayabo of Meinbutus (Ijaw communities, Warri urban) and national president of the Niger-Delta for Credible and Visionary Leadership, King-Jerry Prebor , who witnessed the incident disclosed that an ex-militant general, identified as Blessyn was almost lynched by the irate ex-agitators over the matter.

He said he was travelling on the East-West Road when he ran into the siege by the ex-militants and had to disembark from the vehicle to introduce himself and plead with the protesting ex-militants to remove the trailer and other things used as blockades on the road.

Prebor said men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, on the Niger-Delta from Bomadi got to the scene after he had calmed the boys and that they wanted to use force to disperse them, but he pleaded with them to be civil in their approach, as the boys were angry.

The Amanayabo called on the appropriate government authorities to address the grievance, saying, their allowances should not be tampered with, it should be given to them the way government released it to them.

An official with the security services disclosed that security agents might be forced to track down the ex-militant leaders involved in the tampering of allowances of their boys since the complaints had become prevalent and could lead to another round of crisis if not checked.

It was gathered that following the latest threat by MEND to resume hostilities, the National Security Adviser to the President, Major General Andrew Owoye Azazi, rtd and the Inspector General of Police have put activated some security operations around the country.

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