Port Harcourt — Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, to admit repentant militants in the state into the Presidential Amnesty Program.
Governor Ayade particularly mentioned that an ex-militant group, Bakassi Strike Force, was yet to be enlisted in the Presidential Amnesty Programme to benefit in the rehabilitation, empowerment and reintegration schemes of the programme.
The governor spoke while launching a special security operation code named “Operation Akpakwu” recently, said failure of the Federal Government to admit these repentant militants, was part of the causes of restiveness experienced in the state.
He wondered why repentant militants in the State were yet to be admitted into PAP, many years after they had voluntarily surrendered their arms, at the request of the Federal Government.
“The Bakassi strike force that voluntarily under the request of federal government surrendered their arms, I must say till today that federal government has not accepted and admitted them into the amnesty program .
“We want to ask federal government to explain to us why the Bakassi strike force as not been given proper restitution, rehabilitation reintegration as they have done in other states.
“This has been part of the restiveness in Calabar, I therefore use this opportunity to speak to President Buhari, the NSA, the COAS, the CDS, that upon their own request the government of Cross River State partnered with federal government to receive and accept the arms from the Bakassi strike force why three years after they have been left hungry without any care.
“It is unfair, it is unacceptable it is not Afropolitan, it is not Afrocentric, if you have pushed somebody to the point that he has surrendered, you have a duty to give him protection.
“I plead in the name of God that the Bakassi strike force should be admitted into amnesty so that they can have their due be properly trained so they can be citizens that will bring value to society.”