*Asks FG not to associate or treat them as Avengers
By Godwin Oghre
Sapele—A group of ex-militants under the aegis of Former Forest Soldiers, FFS, aka Isaac Boro Last Born, yesterday, denied claims by security agencies that it belongs to Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, a militant group that has claimed responsibility for the bombings of oil and gas facilities across the Niger Delta region, asking the Federal Government not to associate or treat it as Avengers.
The group while absolving itself of culpability in any act of bombing or kidnapping in Arepo area of Lagos, its leader, ‘General’ O. Ibori, said: “We are ex-militants and not part of Avengers. We are shocked that the Federal Government has reneged on its part to fulfil its obligation from the several peaceful dialogues we had with it after we laid down our weapons for years now.
“We have surrendered but rather than fulfil its obligation by enlisting us in the amnesty programme, the Federal Government just began linking us to some recent kidnappings in the Arepo area of Lagos and the destructive activities of the Avengers that we know nothing about. All we want is to be part of the amnesty programme as the final step of the various dialogues.
“Security forces have burnt down three houses of our leader in Lagos in connection with a purported recent kidnapping in Arepo area and security men have been hunting us down. This is why are crying out that we were not responsible for any act of kidnapping and we are not part of the Avengers, only that we are asking to be enlisted in the amnesty programme.
“The government has chosen force and fire instead of peace and freedom. It has reneged on its part after the various dialogue we had, but we have pledged to be law abiding and never return to arms any longer. We are now asking the Federal Government to stop harassing us and members of our families, including burning down our homes and stop treating us as if we are part the Avengers, because we have given peace a chance.”