NDLF faults Reps’ call for probe of Amnesty Office

Emma Amaize

09 February 2012, Sweetcrude, WARRI – THE Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, a disbanded militant group in Delta State, led by the late “General” John Togo, Thursday, slammed the House of Representatives over its call for the probe the Post-Amnesty Programme because of the intractable posture of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta, MEND, and other groups in the Niger-Delta region.

The group in a statement by its spokesman, “Captain” Mark Anthony said, the statement by the House of Representatives “sounds embarassing and affirm complete lack of security information gathering”.

The group said, the House of Representatives, which is supposed to be an informed body, was trying to shift failure, irresponsibility and blame to people, instead of finding the root causes of the problems.

“It was on record that after NDLF’s formal surrender from our Israel barracks in the creeks of Niger Delta and decision to go non-violent, we called on the Federal Government several times through the media to disarm NDLF and any other armed groups in Niger Delta for permanent peace in the creek, as NDLF had no control on these boys who had been taught excellent use of arms”.

“This is because leaving such dangerous weapons in the hands of local fighters may portend security problems in the creek in future, the government ignored this warning and today, MEND finds avenue in some of the armed groups, which government failed to disarm, last year, and use them to champion its course.

“The NDLF told the government at the time of surrender that the war in Niger Delta is not over yet, whether it is NDLF that is pulling the trigger or not. The same government is now shifting its failure and blaming the Amnesty Office by calling for the probe of the institution.

“When has the Amnesty Office become a security outfit to be held responsible for security failures in Niger Delta? The Federal Amnesty Office is purely training former fighters to rehabilitate them with the right form of vocational training to make them useful members in the society, and the office is doing exactly its function”, the group asserted.

“One may consider it wise, if the said probe by the lower legislative chamber is directed to the various security forces, especially the Joint Task Force (JTF), on the current hostility in Niger Delta as they cannot justify their presence and huge security votes paid to it, and not the Amnesty Office.

“Again, the government had given pipeline security contracts to some top ex-militant leaders and they are at work. Why is the House of representative not holding responsible the beneficiaries of the pipeline surveillance job, rather it is the amnesty office for fresh hostility in the Niger Delta.

The government should withhold the monthly payment of pipeline surveillance, until they justify their presence in the creeks of Niger Delta. The contractors of the pipeline surveillance, JTF and Federal Government failure to disarm armed groups are to be blamed for the current MEND hostility”, it asserted.

NDLF maintaiend that for permanent peace to ensue in the Niger Delta, “government must formally disarm NDLF and all other armed groups who are willing to key into the amnesty programme in Niger Delta and also federal government should embark on massive infrastructural development in all nooks and crannies in Niger Delta”.

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