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Amnesty : Militants protest in Yenagoa

By Samuel Oyadongha

The peace of Biogbolo suburb of Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital was yesterday disrupted as over 200 repentant militants from the stable of Ebikabowei Victor Ben aka Gen Boyloaf barricaded the Biogbolo stretch of the Mbiama-Yenagoa road over his alleged refusal to redeem the N10m promised them if they embrace the federal government amnesty.

Commercial activities were paralyzed in the Biogbolo area as virtually all the business premises were forced to close shops so as not to have their stores looted by the rampaging ex-militants.

The timely intervention of men of the state police command led by the DPO of Ekeki Division, Mr. Nemi Iwo, one Superintendent Samuel Debekeme however save the situation from degenerating into violence as they succeeded in persuading the protesting youths to return to their base.

Interestingly, the Joint Task Force which base was not far from the scene of the protest stayed away from the protesters even as the soldiers mount vigil around the civilian settlement.

Vanguard learnt that trouble started when the boys went to the Government House annex where the militant leaders are currently staying with a view to see their leader Gen Boyloaf to enquire about the money promised them but that they were turned back by security operatives at the gate.

The ex-creek boys who were lodged in one of the guest houses in the suburb were protesting what they described as the insensitivity of their leader to their plight stressing that since they came out of the mangrove creek to embrace the amnesty the promise by their leader that they would be paid N10million has not been fulfilled.

One of the protesting youths who gave simply gave his name as Paul Innocent lamented that while Gen Boyloaf and other militants given descent accommodation in the Government House annex they the foot soldiers were left uncared for.

They noted with sadness that since the August 22, arms surrendering exercise they have been suffering while their leaders are enjoying in their Government House annex.

“We need money. Since we surrender we have not been paid our allowances. We want our pay and Boyloaf should come and pay us,” lamented Sisco adding a hungry man is an angry man. We are stranded, we need our master to come and pay us.”

Another of the of the protesters said, “we have carried gun for three years and government came up with amnesty which we accepted but see how we are being treated.”

The protesters were unanimous in their threat to go back to the creek “if there is no improvement in their condition.

“We may be forced to go back to the creek and resort to the old order” they warned.

Efforts to get the comment of the state coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Implementation Committee, Rev Obegha Oworibo proved abortive as his line was not going through.

But a security source who spoke anonymously said they are on top of the situation and assured members of the public of their safety.


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