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Boyloaf accuses Ijaw leaders of inciting militants not to accept amnesty

By Emma Amaize
WARRI—TOP Niger-Delta militant leader, “General” Boyloaf, yesterday, pointed accusing fingers at  some Ijaw youth leaders, who he said were visiting militant camps in the creeks and instigating  militant leaders and their boys not to accept amnesty because of the huge money they were making from the state of anarchy in the region, as unsolicited negotiators for the combatants.

“General” Boyloaf told Vanguard in an exclusive interview yesterday that he would expose the youth leaders at the appropriate time, disclosing  that he was approached by them and advised not to surrender his arms, purportedly in his own interest, on the grounds that President Umaru Yar’Adua was not  sincere with  the amnesty programme.

Militants use flat-bottom boats to navigate the narrow and shallow creeks.
Militants use flat-bottom boats to navigate the narrow and shallow creeks.

The militant leader said, “the youth leaders claimed that the Federal Government would arrest us after we have surrendered our arms and allowed them to take our photographs and they make it look as if it was not possible at all for us to come to the town even when the Federal Government had proclaimed amnesty for militants”.

An enraged Boyloaf further told Vanguard that since the youth leaders want the “war” to continue despite the release of Henry Okah, “they should come and take our positions in the creeks, they should also recruit their brothers and children and let us do the dialogue in the town with the government while they do the shooting and bombing of oil installations in the creeks”.

Boyloaf who is the first militant leader to publicly accept the offer of amnesty prior to the official proclamation by President Umaru Yar’Adua on the conditions that Okah would be released from detention and the Federal Government roll out feasible development programmes for the region said he had not changed his mind on amnesty contrary to sponsored reports that he was not in support of it.

The militant leader who was called by Vanguard to respond to a media report that he was shunned by President Umaru Yar’Adua during his recent visit to Bayelsa State said the report was not true and the Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva did not invite him to meet with President Yar’Adua.

His words: “I am prepared to lay down my arms, some people are using this struggle to make money, they cannot fool me, I am not a fool, I know what I am fighting for. Most of these Niger-Delta youth leaders are using the struggle to enrich themselves and they don’t want the militants to hand over their arms, that is the problem now”.

He also debunked the claim that he has refused to meet with Henry Okah since he was released, saying the people peddling such rumour were enemies of peace.

“If your recall, I was interviewed in the past and I said the number one reason I would accept the amnesty was because of the assurance I have got that Henry Okah would be released, this was some weeks before Okah was finally released, so why should I avoid seeing him when I fought many battles for his release”, he said.

On when he would surrender his arms, “General” Boyloaf said, “I will surrender my arms, no Ijaw youth leader will stop me”.

He advised other militant leaders in the region not to be deceived by the so-called youth leaders into refusing to accept amnesty and surrendering their arms, saying, “They should not allow anybody to negotiate for them, they should negotiate by themselves because those claiming to be negotiating for them are taking them as fools and calling them illiterates”.

Boyloaf asserted, “These youth leaders are making rituals with the blood of militants. It is not only when you kill somebody and use his blood to make ritual that you are a ritualist, these boys that are fighting in the creeks with their lives, it is their blood they are fighting with and somebody is using their fight somewhere to make money, is that person not a ritualist?


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