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Amnesty: Odi militant group surrenders arms

By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa— The confederate of late Odi militant leader, Ken Neweigha yesterday surrendered their arms to the Presidential Amnesty Committee.

A total of nine arms, ranging from 2 FM rifles, 4 pump action rifles, 1 rocket launcher, 1 bomb RPG, 1 double barrel gun, 6 dynamites, 21 dynamite caps, 1 cartridge, 3 magazines, 2.9mm bullets and 700 rounds of ammunition were handed over to the Presidential Amnesty Committee led by the state coordinator, Rev Obegha Oworibo, a representative of the JTF and the police.

The repentant group, made of about one and hundred fifty boys were initially based at Odi in the Kolokuma-Opokuma local government area of Bayelsa before they were eventually dislodged by the police who arrested their leader late Neweigha but was later reported dead shortly after he was paraded before newsmen.

Other members of the group were banished from Odi community by the natives in a popular revolt.

At a brief hand over ceremony held at the Isaac Boro Peace Park in Yenagoa, the second in command to the late Neweigha, Mr. Edward Youdiowei said they have to surrender their weapons to embrace the amnesty offered by President Umaru Yar’Adua.

The repentant leader said they have all agreed to be rehabilitated and re-integrated back into the society and pleaded with the government to prevail on Odi community to accept them back having repented and surrendered their arms.

Youdiowei who said they lost most of their arms during the police raid on their base some couple of months ago also pleaded with the police authorities to release five of their members arrested who are still in police custody since they have embraced the federal government amnesty by surrendering all weapon in their possession.

His words, “We are calling on the authorities to release five of our members who in police custody as well as pleading with the government to prevail on the police to vacate the premises of our late master since have surrendered all the weapons in our possession.”

He however assured the community and the state government that they would never again foment any trouble.
In his remark, the state coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Committee, Rev Obegha Oworibo noted that they are already with the list of the boys in the group.

Rev Oworibo stated that before any militant is admitted to rehabilitation camps such militant must be properly accredited before admittance and urged members of the group to visit the Rehabilitation Centre at Tungbo for proper documentation.

He also urged all those who have already dropped their weapons to report at the rehabilitation centre nearest to them as stipulated in the amnesty programme for proper documentation.


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