30 November 2011, Sweetcrude, Yengoa – The Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta code named Operation Restore Hope has warned that it would unleash security manhunt for ex militant that sabotage the nation oil installation or breach the existing peace in the region.
Spokesman of the Joint Task Force, Lt. Col. Timothy Antigha, who gave the warning Yenagoa against the backdrop of the seven day ultimatum issued by the aggrieved ex militants agitating for inclusion into the amnesty programme.
He urged the ex militants to thread the path part of dialogue with the relevant authorities saddle with the implementation of the Amnesty Programme.
“The JTF will not be drawn into any discussion on the merit or demerit of the inclusion or exclusion of the protesting agitators into the rehabilitation process. The aspect of inclusion in the amnesty programme is within the province of the Amnesty Committee.
“However, the JTF wishes to advice the so-called 2nd or 3rd phase ex-militants to seek peaceful ways of achieving their objectives.Because the threat of violence being employed in this regard will most certainly not end their favour,” Lt. Col. Antigha said.
The aggrieved ex-militant youths under the aegis of the 2nd batch extension programme had weekend handed a seven days ultimatum to the Federal Government to recognize and include them in the Amnesty programme or face stiff sanctions from the group.
The group which held a town hall meeting in Esena Ebe School hall Bomadi, Delta state over the weekend agreed in principle that the federal government is deliberately and tactically delaying their inclusion into the 2nd batch after collecting seventy thousand arms and ammunition from them, stressing that the government delay is spurring them back to the creeks to resume pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering.
The National Chairman of the group, General Julius Joseph said the seven days ultimatum, starting from November 26, 2011 to December 3, 2011 became necessary because the government is not living up to their expectation.
“If our genuine processes discussed were adopted, all ex- militant groups could have been trained and absorbed by various companies, but because the government is insincere to our plights, the youths are thinking of going back to the creeks,” he further stated.
He said the failure and non-implementation of the federal government promises concerning the 2nd Batch amnesty programme has made them to resort to self employment and survival through illegal bunkering and local refining of the crude oil.
For a total stop to illegality, General Julius Joseph is calling on the federal government to absorb and include all batches of ex-militants into the amnesty programme, adding that employment outfits such as federal secretariat, NNPC secretariat, administrative building of multinational oil companies amongst others should relocate to Bayelsa State where job absorption would be easy.
The aggrieved ex-militants are also planning to mobilize to Abuja for mass demonstration if the federal government fails to meet up their ultimatum, while their arms and ammunition should be given back to them for self sustainability.