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400 ex-militants protest alleged abandonment

By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—NO fewer than 400 ex-militants in Edo State yesterday took to the streets of Benin to protest alleged abandonment by the federal government.

The ex-militants, who were at Government House to lodge their complaints to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, called on the relevant authorities to attend to their plight and ensure their incorporation into the amnesty deal, as promised by government.

Beside  barricading  the entrance gate and roads leading to Government House, commercial activities were almost brought to a stand still in the state capital, as  all the major roads and entry points leading to Benin City were blocked by the aggrieved militants.

The former militants also appealed to the federal government to properly document and integrate them into the post-amnesty programme, insisting that since they peacefully surrendered their weapons in December, 2009, their members have been languishing in the creeks without being taken care of by the government.

Spokesman of the ex-militants, Mr. Awomu Lawson, disclosed that the boys have been abandoned at Useh community since 17 December 2009, noting that their present plight was against the earlier agreement they entered into with the State Security Service (SSS) on the processes for the submission of arms by  former militants.

According to him, “ever since the 17th of December, there has been this cat and mouse game of come today, come tomorrow and we are tired.

“What we want now is that these people submitted their arms and should be registerd into the amnesty programme.”


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