By Emma Arubi
WARRI â€” GOVERNOR Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has challenged an Itsekiri group to show evidence of payment of post-amnesty packages to some notable Itsekiri youth leaders.
Some Itsekiri youths had earlier this week addressed the press, alleging that some of their leaders negotiated and diverted to themselves post-amnesty packages meant for Itsekiri youths who surrendered their arms and keyed into Federal Governmentâ€™s amnesty.
Speaking to newsmen at an end of year media chat atÂ Government House press center, Asaba,Governor Uduaghan said Itsekiri did not have militants, eventhough they submitted some weapons which they claimed were used in self-defence during the Itsekiri/Ijaw ethnic crisis.
He said some youths had threatened to burn down his residence in Warri andÂ stated that he had, therefore, resolved to also deal with them according to the law, saying he could no longer tolerate unnecessary molestation and harassment from some persons with hidden political agenda masquerading as freedom fighters for Itsekiri people.
Also reacting to claims by Itsekiri New Dawn, Vice President of Itsekiri National Youth Council, INYC, Comrade Omolubi Newuwumi, described the allegations as frivolous and malicious, adding that none of the members of the INYC or its agents negotiated or collected any token from the amnesty committee.
â€œFor avoidance of doubt, the amnesty package was meant for repentant militants and during the exercise in question, the guns and ammunition returned by the ItsekiriÂ were those we used in defending ourselves against our more aggressive neighbour and not from a particular militant camp or group.
â€œDid any of the sons or daughters of Itsekiri agree that he or she was a militant and went to the rehabilitation camps and were turned down by the military or amnesty authority?Â The package was meant for those who came out to say they were militants, they are now repented, submitted their guns and surrenderd themselves for rehabilitation,â€ he said.
Omolubi stated that at the world press conference held immediately after they submitted their arms at Koko, headquarters of Warri North local government area of Delta State, it was unanimously agreed that the Itsekiri had no militant or a militant group or camp and wondered why they were now shouting blue murder months after the amnesty package.
On alleged desecration of the Olu of Warriâ€™s palace by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, himself and others, Newuwumi said there was never a time he or others led thugs to the Oluâ€™s palace as they held the Olu in high esteem and had contributed to the building of the palace. “So, why destroy it as they claimed!” He said.