By NBF News

The Joint Military Task Force (JTF), in continuation of its tour of ex-militants camps in Bayelsa State has taken over the camps of two ex-militant leaders in Ologbobiri and Peremabiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state. The camps were formerly operated by Timi Upkarisa a.k.a Commander Africa and Eris Paul a.k.a Ogunboss respectively.

The Sector 2 Commander of the JTF Bayelsa State, Col Victor Ezugwu who was in the two camps said following the directive of the Federal Government, the command had visited and taken over five camps in the state. In Ologbobri, Ezugwu commended Africa for closing down his camp after embracing the amnesty in line with the directive of the Federal Government as part of the amnesty programme.

According to him, the evidences at the camp site had convinced the JTF that ' though there used to be a camp here, but now what we have are relics which had since been overtaken by bush.' He disclosed that the JTF had come to inspect the camp to see its current situation with a view to taking it over as directed by the Federal Government.

'There is no doubt that there was once a camp here, the Federal Government's order is that we should take over the camps, but with what we have here today, the camp is already destroyed, and the place taken over by farming activities, so we are satisfied that Africa who once rule here, is no longer maintaining a camp' While assuring that the JTF would ensure that the peace in the region is sustained, he appealed to Commander Africa to support the peace efforts of the Federal Government.

Africa who was also in the community declared his total support for the amnesty programme, stressing that he would continue to assist the JTF in the pursuit of peace in the region. He said: 'My promise to the Federal Government is that my militant activities are over, because right from the first day I embraced the amnesty, I never thought of going back to the creeks, and thank God the JTF had come to witness it here, my camp is no more. No one wants to continue living in the creek. I love my freedom, because there is nothing like peace'

At the palace of the paramount ruler of the community, Ezugwu solicited the support of traditional rulers in complementing the efforts of the Federal Government to maintain peace in the region. He said they should report all suspicious movements to the soldiers stationed in the community as the JTF would not compromise its stand to secure the Niger Delta region.

His words 'I want to appeal to your majesty to assist the federal government in maintaining peace in your domain. We have called on you to solicit your support and assistance in preaching the message of peace to the people' we are assuring you of our presence within your domain, our mobile numbers are open at all time, the task before us is the collective responsibility of everybody.'

The acting paramount ruler Chief Seiminitefa Kokumo who expressed support for the presence of soldiers in the community said Africa has been fighting bunkerers and sea-pirates in the area. 'We are very happy that you have come to see our community and as you can see, we are in peace, there is no problem here, because since our son and brother, Africa embraced the amnesty, he had been living with us here in peace, and even helping the government to arrest oil bunkerers and pirates', he said.