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Militants in Bayelsa yet to surrender arms

Yenagoa—For the seventh consecutive day, no militant has turned up in any of the arms collection centres inState to surrender arms.

This comes as the rehabilitation centres at Imringi in Ogbia council and Tungbo in Sagbama council area have been taken over by weeds.

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Expectation that the arms collection centres would be a beehive of activities after the initial lull recorded last week has turned out to be a mirage, as both the military personnel and civilians deployed to the centres are currently idle.

When Vanguard visited the Sagbama collection centre at the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) premises and Government Science and Technical College rehabilitation centre as well as the Imiringi rehabilitation centre which could be accessed by road, it was observed that no single arm had been surrendered.

The soldiers at the collection and rehabilitation centres were yesterday waiting patiently for the repentant militants to turn in their arms, in spite of their operating in the most unhygienic condition.

Except for the premises of the Federal Road Safety Commission which could be certified habitable, the entire surrounding was covered with overgrown weeds, making the place a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other dangerous reptiles.

The situation at the Tungbo rehabilitation centre could best be described as worse as soldiers have to rely on rain water for drinking and bathing.

Sources from across the designated centres in the predominantly riverine state told Vanguard that no single militant had turned in arms in his possession, thereby rendering the soldiers idle.

This development, a source told Vanguard, could even scare away the expected militants from turning in their arms to avoid being subjected to the harrowing condition at the rehabilitation centres.

“Let us be frank, who is that militant that will want to come and subject himself to the type of condition these soldiers sent here are facing?

“Imagine a situation where these soldiers have to make do with rain water for drinking and having their bathe, things they should have been provided with giving the hazardous nature of their job,” said a local at Tungbo community, one of the rehabilitation centres in the state.

But for some officials of the newly created Niger Delta Ministry that visited the centres Tuesday, it was learnt that no Bayelsa government official had visited any of the centres.

Efforts to get the comment of the state coordinator of the exercise, Rev Julius Oworibo, a Permanent Secretary, proved abortive as he was said to have traveled to Abuja on official assignment.


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