Post amnesty: Ex-militants issue 7-day ultimatum to government

Samuel Oyadongha

3 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Aggrieved ex-militants in the Niger Delta region weekend issued a seven day ultimatum to the Federal Government to integrate them into the amnesty programme, threatening to breach the existing peace in the region should the government fail to meet their demand.

The aggrieved ex militants under the aegis of Niger Delta Development Ex-militants in a letter addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan signed by Julius Joseph and Tam Odogwu, national president and secretary respectively decried what they described as the hide and seek game some officials of the amnesty programme have been playing with them since they laid down their arms.

The former militants said they are being forced to write a letter to the President Jonathan to draw his attention to the activities of some government officials who wants to scuttle the peace in the region by the deliberate abandonment of ex-militants who were supposed to be in the post amnesty programme.

Reaffirming their belief in the commitment of Mr. President to the successful implementation of the amnesty programme, they appeal to him to direct the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs to facilitate their inclusion into the amnesty programme and payment of their entitlements from January till date.

The letter read in part: “We hereby state unequivocally and with full sense of responsibility to our collective disposition not to disrupt or altercate the nascent democracy and relative peace in the region, thereby showing to the international community the selective nature and outright abandonment of thousands of ex-militants by the government.

“We had employed all peaceful and procedural channels since January 2011 to no avail. More so we can read between the lines that attempts are being made by highly placed individuals to scuttle our sacrifices and compromise the laying down of our arms for the collective good because of their selfish interest.

“Meanwhile we want you to understand that we all collectively contribute to the peace and the sustenance of the relative peace in the region by accepting peace and by laying down our arms to the various security agencies as directed and has received a report as a prove to the handover of arms and ammunitions for the granting of the federal government amnesty.

“For your information, we have channeled several letters through the office of the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs and have gotten any response from you neither from the Special Adviser. Therefore we collectively resolved to use this medium and wait for one week. Consequently we plead and urge President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as man who will not renege on his promise to approve as well as to direct Kingsley Kuku, the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs to facilitate our incorporation into the amnesty programme and subsequent payment of our entitlements from January till date.”

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