By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
Barely 48 hrs after President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua proclamation of amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta now fewer than four militant commanders in Bayelsa State have openly renounced armed struggle to embrace the presidential gesture with Commander Joshua Maciver describing the move as a good omen for the troubled region.
So far Commander Joshua Maciver, General Africa, Commander Lagos Jackson aka Gbiri with three camps and Commander Ogunbos all operating within the Southern Ijaw council area have agreed to surrender their arms.
Apart from the four recognized leaders who have openly expressed their willingness to give peace a chance Vanguard reliably learnt that other smaller splinter armed gangs are also towing the part of the bigger groups from to accept the olive branch extended by Mr. President.
Commander Joshua Maciver, who controlled one of the most feared camps in Southern Ijaw council and was the first to renounced armed struggle about a year ago Saturday called on other undecided militant leaders to partner with the government in the search for enduring peace in the region.
An elated Maciver, a repentant militant leader long before the amnesty issue was raised by the President who masterminded the peace process in collaboration with the state government said, â€œI flagged off this amnesty since July last year for us to lay down our arms and create room for an enduring dialogue to usher in socio-economic and political development in the region.â€
The militant leader who dismissed report that he had to relocate to the creek after giving up armed struggle because he was not sure if the president would redeem his pledge of granting amnesty said, â€œI have not compromised my stand on to lay down arms in the interest of the region and gone back to the creek. I think I should be a solution and not the problem itself. I hereby reiterate my earlier stand in finding lasting solution to the problem of the region.â€
He thanked Mr. President for his decisive step and commitment in bringing about lasting peace and development to the Niger Delta.