Ex-Militants Threaten To Resume Hostilities, Protest At National Assembly
ABUJA, April 04, (THEWILL) – Another round of insecurity may be brewing in the country as ex-militants operating under the umbrella of Niger Delta Freedom Fighters, Thursday, protested at the National Assembly in Abuja over their alleged exclusion from the ongoing Federal Government’s amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region.
Although, members of the National Assembly are presently on Easter break, the ex-militants who were led by their leader, ‘General’ Para Ekiyes, chanted war songs and threatened to reopen hostilities if the government fails to accede to their demand.
The protest was however peaceful as security men attached to the National Assembly made up of the police, State Security Service (SSS), and civil defence, including the sergeant at arms, guided the ex-militants while carrying out their protest.
Leader of the group, Ekiyes, also known as General Gun Boat, said the group wants the Federal Government to facilitate the immediate actualisation of the third phase of the amnesty programme currently on going in the Niger Delta to accommodate them.
Speaking to journalists during the protest, Ekiyes said they were treated unfairly by members of the Task Force since the commencement of the phased programme under the supervision of Kingsley Kuku, adding that since the group disarmed in 2011, it had been waiting for the amnesty without any result.
"The Task Force on third phase amnesty has commenced work in Delta State since February 3, 2013 but none of us has been invited," he explained, adding that the officials have refused to invite the group to participate and partake in the presidential amnesty programme.
According to him, the third phase of the programme had made provisions to accommodate only 3,642 of the about 5,600-strong ex militants belonging to the Niger Delta Freedom Fighters, yet none of them had been invited.
"If the Federal Government fails to accede to our demand, I and my men will go back to the creeks. The Nigerian Government knows what the Niger Delta youths can do.
"The government knows what was happening before we disarmed, and since we disarmed they know what has been going on in the Niger Delta region.
"Even the number of crude oil per day is very stable, the menace of sea piracy has ceased and there is stability in the area. But if the government feels that we should continue, then we will go back!," he threatened.