Ex-Militants In Imo Protest Non-Inclusion In Amnesty Programme

| February 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Hundreds of youths who claimed to be ex-militants from Ohaji Egbema oil producing Local Government Area of Imo state have staged a protest in Owerri the Imo state capital over what they termed as outright marginalization of the state from the list of the Niger Delta states who are to benefit from the third phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme by the federal government.

Major roads in the state capital were barricaded during the protest where many of the protesters carried placards with various inscriptions.

The group accused the Presidential Amnesty Office in Abuja of deliberately excluding the state from the list of states to benefit from the third phase of the programme, having sent an adhoc committee to the South South states to make verification on the number of ex-militants to take part in the third phase.

They argued that Imo state is part of the Niger Delta states and the third largest producer of gas in the country. They also said most of the militants in the region also surrendered their arms and ammunitions during the amnesty programme.

The leader of the group, Andrew Edwin stated that the group is not pleased with this development and vowed that they will shut down all the oil wells located in Ohaji Egbema and Oguta Local Government Area of the state if the plan is not reversed.

However, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Niger Delta Affairs, Eric Nwanom said many letters have been written to the Presidential Amnesty Office but none has been responded to.

He said the state government will not fold their arms and allow the ex-militants to suffer as they will do everything possible to enable them get their rights.

Meanwhile, the office of the Niger delta amnesty office in Abuja has been reacting to this allegation by the youths, speaking to Channels Television, spokesman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Dan Alabrah said the programme has no third phase.

He said the verification exercise going on in the South South states followed the approval of the presidency to include 3, 642 persons who claimed that they accepted the offer of amnesty and surrendered their arms to the JTF in the states of the Niger delta and as such, the verification exercise is not a new one.


Culled from :Here

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