Militancy in the Niger Delta is gradually returning, with attacks in recent weeks perpetrated by a group called the Niger Delta Avengers. While security operatives are working to stop them, more groups may emerge in the coming months.
Ex-militants in the Niger Delta listed conditions for an end to the current crisis, saying unless the conditions are met by the Federal Government, there would be no respite in the area and more militant groups will emerge.
Speaking yesterday in Sapele, ex-militant leaders, Paul Toruwei and Anthony Dango, said among other things, the Federal Government must audit all the records of payments made to ex-militants so far from the beginning of the Amnesty programme.
“The Amnesty Office must pay up all outstanding payments to us. It must pay all those who have not been receiving the monthly stipend since 2009.
“The Amnesty Office has lied to the President that it is paying everyone his stipends when it is not paying more than half of us who surrendered weapons to the Federal Government at the commencement of the Amnesty programme.
“The government has since January 2016 stopped the payment of N65,000 monthly stipend to those of us who have finished their school and skill acquisition training. We have no other means of livelihood, so the government must restore the payments.
“We also want the government to correct the false information that the Amnesty Office has fully paid till date over 30,000 recipients their monthly amnesty entitlements of N65,000 each. That is not true, the true position of the actual number of people paid, which is far less than the figure of 30,000 persons, must be revealed to avert further trouble in Niger Delta.
“There would be more bombings and more militant groups will spring up, if these conditions are not met immediately,” the ex-militants stated.