By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Bayelsa State chapter of Action Congress (AC) has described the meeting between President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua and Niger Delta militants, led by Mr. Victor Ben Ebikabowei, alias General Boyloaf, as commendable, noting that the development had shown that the barriers of bureaucracy and deceit could be broken without derailing the amnesty deal.
Speaking through its secretary in Bayelsa State, Mr. Ebikibina Miriki, the party urged the Federal Government to make use of the various peace committees in the states to implement parts of the amnesty deal and disarmament due to the trust built with the militants over the years.
AC explained that the involvement of the various Peace and Conflict Resolution Committees in the amnesty implementation process and the supervision of the Presidential Committee would go a long way in facilitating trust between the militant leaders and the presidency.
â€œHow can they station armed soldiers at the disarmament centres and think the genuine militants will ferry huge cache of arms and ammunition to the centre?â€Â He queried, blaming the development on the lull in activity at the arms collection centres across the region.
Nigerians, it would be recalled, were last week stunned when Mr. Victor Ben Ebikabowei, alias General Boyloaf, a Bayelsa creek based militant, led 31 others from the Niger Delta creeks and waterways to Abuja and met with President Musa Yarâ€™dua at Aso Rock over contentious issues of the amnesty deal and the presentation of a workable formula that would assist the on-going disarmament programme of the Amnesty Implementation Committee.
It was reliably learnt that the meeting between the President and the militants was facilitated by the Bayelsa State Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution, led by Chief James Japhath.
The Chairman of the Committee, Chief James Japhath, was reported to have ensured the appearance of the militants at the Abuja meeting, in line with a brief received from Bayelsa State governor and the confidence the militants have in the committee over the last one year during signing of a peace pact with state government where the insurgents renounced violence in their agitation.