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Ahead of Oct 4 deadline for amnesty: Militants rush to surrender arms

By SAMUEL OYADONGHA & JOHN IGHODARO

EIGHT days to the October 4 expiration af the Federal Government amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta, hitherto unknown armed groups in  Bayelsa and Cross River states  are rushing to surrender their arms to the Presidential Amnesty Implementation Committee.

In the last one week, no fewer than seven groups have turned in their arms to the committee in deference to President Umaru Yar’Adua amnesty to all illegal arms bearing groups in the two states of the troubled Niger Delta.

Only yesterday, two unknown armed groups operating in the Akassa enclave on the Atlantic fringe of Brass local government and the Ikibiri kingdom in the Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State surrendered 22 arms among them G3 rifles and a number of explosives to the state chapter of the Presidential Amnesty Implementation Committee.

At  press time, another group, which leader had earlier contacted the committee of his intention to key into the amnesty deal, was being expected to surrender his arms. The arms surrendered yesterday by the two different groups include AK 47 rifles, G3 rifles, pistols and locally made guns and a number of mix ammo.

Also, groups that go by the names, Bakassi Freedom Fighters (BFF) and Bakassi Salvation Front (BSF), surrendered weapons at the Bakassi LGA Secretariat in Bakassi, Cross River State. Present at the ceremony were the state deputy governor, Barr. Efiok Cobham, the coordinator of the Disarmament Committee, Air Vice-Marshal Lucky Ararile, AIG Zone 6, Mr. Azubuko Udah, the Bakassi LGA chairman, Elder Nyong, among others.


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