Ex-Militants Protest Exclusion From Amnesty Programme, Demand Payment Of Arrears Of Allowances

EX-MilitantsSome former militants in Edo and Delta, who were not captured in the third phase of the amnesty programme by the Federal Government, have protested their exclusion from the programme.

Their protest is contained in a petition addressed to the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee, Kingsley Kuku.

The letter was copied to Mr. Jonathan, both chambers of the National Assembly, the Police and the Department of State Security, DSS.

The former militants through their counsel, Ugha Kurumah, said they were from nine camps scattered in the two states. They alleged that some people close to some political appointees who were not registered in the programme were benefitting from the exercise at the detriment of “real militants”.

The petition said that Beni-Obiri Camp headed by Ojuemi Prediseghbofa keyed into the third phase of the amnesty programme with 1,300 persons and surrendered over 109 automatic weapons and several ammunition.

It said that only seven slots were allocated to them in the monthly stipend, while that of Pina-Ofini Camp headed by Saturday Ajemiri entered the programme with 1002 persons.

The camp was said to have surrendered 49 arms, but was given only five slots.

The petition said 800 persons from Oweikontei Camp headed by Emmaunel Aboh subscribed to the amnesty and surrendered 49 arms and several rounds of ammunition, but got only five slots.

It also said the Toruiyesinghan Camp headed by Ayefagha Yeriyemi surrendered 351 persons and handed over 55 arms and several rounds of ammunition, but also got five slots.

The Ukurisi Camp, it said, headed by Jacob Ikpi, keyed into the programme with 277 persons and surrendered 40 arms and several ammunition, received four slots.

On the other hand, Kala Osuwo Camp headed by Agama Peter with 219 persons surrendered 22 arms and several ammunitions, got only one slot.

According to the petition, Urhode Camp headed by Ovwighovie Ovayebewho entered the programme with 150 persons, surrendered several ammunition and 12 arms, but got only one slot for monthly allowance.

Okuku camp headed by Isaiah Ajemiri entered into the programme with 200 persons and surrendered several ammunition and 26 arms, got only three slots, among others.

It said that “these inappropriate engagements are making life after amnesty miserable and unbearable for all members of the entire camps.

“We are surprised that in the midst of these predicaments, we are aware that our friends, political thugs have got slots to themselves from which they receive fabulous monthly allowances”.

It said that affected militant camps should to be allocated slots that correspond with the number of persons in the camps.

The petition also called for the payment of arrears of allowances to the militants from February 28, 2013, being the date they entered into the third phase of the amnesty.