By Samuel Oyadongha & By Emma Amaize
Yenagoaâ€”The rank of militant commanders who have agreed to drop their arms in agreement to President Umaru Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s amnesty has continued to swell in Bayelsa State with Gen Ogunboss, a commander from the Niger Delta Vigilante Force in the upper senate of MEND joining the fray of militants prepared to abandon life in the mangrove jungle.
So far, four recognized militant commanders and other splinter groups have agreed to lay down their arms in the interest of peace but warned that failure on the part of the Federal Government to massively invest in infrastructural development of the region could trigger violence.
Bayelsa State has the highest number of militant camps in the Niger Delta with several splinter armed groups operating in the deep mangrove concentrated around the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and East senatorial district of the state.
Gen. Ogunboss, who operates in the Bomo axis of Southern Ijaw council area in an interview in the creek reiterated his readiness to embrace the Federal Government peace deal but called on the government to abide by its promise to develop the blighted region.
He lamented that for long the elders and leaders of the region have been dialoguing with the Nigerian state for fair deal with nothing to show for their peaceful approach, citing the deplorable state of Oloibiri where oil was first discovered in commercial quantity.
….Leader of Deadly Underdogs accepts too
WARRIâ€”LEADER of the Deadly Underdogs, a potent militant group in Egbema kingdom, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, Ezekiel A., has accepted amnesty and promised to surrender his arms in due course to the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
He said his decision to lay down arms was due to the proclamation of amnesty for militantsÂ last Thursday by President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua but pointed out that the reason for his carrying arms against the government has not been met.
His words: â€œThe very reason why my men and I went into the venture of handling arms was to seek redress to the aching problems of the Egbema indigenesÂ and the entire Niger Deltans in the hand of government and the oil multinational companies. Since we began this endeavour,Â we have been called all kinds of ugly names but we were not bothered because we know our goal and are determined to get there some day, very soon.
â€œThe problems that took us to the creeks have not been addressed in any bit until this offer ofÂ amnesty by Mr. President. Although we see a lot of dimensions in this offer,Â but in all,Â we view it from the point of a reasonable step by Mr. President towards creating peace in the Niger Delta and in the nation at large”.