Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Security beefed up in N’Delta, as ex-militants give FG 7-day ultimatum

Security has been beefed in Bayelsa State and other parts of the Niger Delta region as some ex-militants have threatened to return to the creeks and cause instability in the region.

The ex-militants in their thousands at a town hall meeting in Esena Ebe School hall Bomadi, Delta State issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to recognize and include them in the amnesty programme or face stiff action from the group.

The ex-militants reached a consensus that the Federal Government was deliberately and tactically delaying their inclusion in the second batch after receiving surrendered arms from them.
Julius Joseph, who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved ex-militants, pointed out that the action of the Federal Government would force them back to the creeks to undertake the vandalisation of oil pipelines and engage in illegal oil bunkering.

Joseph, who said the group had given the Federal Government up to December 3 to respond to its request, stressed that the ultimatum became necessary, as the government was not living up to the expectation of the group.

He said: “If the genuine process we discussed were adopted, all ex-militant groups could have been trained and absorbed by the various companies, but because the government was insincere, the youths are thinking of going back to the creeks. The failure and non-implementation of the Federal Government promises concerning the second batch amnesty programme has resorted to self-employment to survive through illegal bunkering and local refining of the crude oil. To put a stop to this, we call on Federal Government to absorb all batches of ex-militants into the amnesty programme.”

Security sources based on the threat of the ex-militants especially as the yuletide season is approaching placed security forces on red alert to ensure that nothing untoward happen to oil installations and facilities in the region.
According to the source, since the amnesty office had said there were no more batches in the amnesty programme, security agencies were on the lookout for troublemakers to nip their plan in the bud.