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Repentant militants won’t be arrested – JTF

By Emma Amaize
WARRI — JOINT Task Force (JTF) on the Niger-Delta, yesterday, debunked the conjecture that the security outfit would arrest or kill any militant that renounced militancy and surrendered his arms and ammunition to the Presidential Committee on Amnesty.

JTF spokesman, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, in a press statement said, “It comes to the JTF as a surprise that there have been expressions of apprehension in some quarters that it will arrest or kill any militant who surren-dered his or her arms to the amnesty committee in Niger-Delta.

“This is actually worrisome to the JTF, especially now that amnesty has long picked up. Moreso, it is the same authority that sent JTF here to carry out assigned duties that granted pardon to the militants and, as such, we will never go contrary to the directives of our respected political class.

“Hence, we have no mandate to arrest, not to talk of killing any repentant militant, either during or after amnesty period, no matter the situation, so long as he has surrendered and submitted his/her arms. We lack locus standi to go against the amnesty provisions,” he asserted.

Col Abubakar further stated, “There has also been an insinuation that JTF will have to leave the domain of some communities before they (militants) could surrender,

for fear of their lives.  They should know that the JTF is here for the protection of every individual and all communities in the region, including oil assets and their workers and also to ensure fullest restoration of law and order, security and maintenance of harmonious coexistence amongst various ethnic groups in the region”.

“We want to reassure everyone that we will not carry out any action that will inconvenience any citizen or community member; therefore, those who are entertaining fears about JTF’s presence should please discard it and see JTF as a partner in progress, as our presence in all the communities is to check the activities of the few criminals who hide under the larger society to commit one unholy act or the
other.

“Therefore, the innocent community members or any group have nothing to fear.  The JTF would fold up its operation in the Niger-Delta at an appropriate time , which would only be determined by our higher authority, because the issue of security must be viewed with the seriousness it deserves, sentiment aside”, he asserted.


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