By Emma Arubi
WARRIâ€”Former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye S.P. Alamieyeseigha, has warned all militant leaders in Ijaw land to surrender their weapons or be prepared to face the consequences.
His warning came against the backdrop of the refusal of eight groups of unrepentant to surrender their arms unless they were paid N400,000.
Alamieyeseigha gave the warning at Bomadi where he had gone to witness the submission of arms by the groups but waited in vain for almost three hours before the boys told the Amnesty team, led by the state coordinator/camp commander of the Warri collection centre, Lt. Commander Chindu Yahaya, that they would require N400,000.00 as logistics to enable them transfer their guns to the centre.
A visibly angry Alamieyeseigha told Vanguard that the request by the boys had earlier been communicated to Delta State governor and his deputy who responded that each militant leader had been tasked to move their weapons to a central point from where the Presidential Task Force would take over.
According to him, he left Abuja yesterday to witness the handover in the belief that the militants have accepted to drop their guns without making the funny demand only for them to keep him waiting for over three hours before telling him that they were not prepared to submit the guns without the said amount.
He said: â€œI donâ€™t have that kind of money to give to any militant. Iâ€™m not in government neither am I a member of the Presidential Task Force. I am only an Ijaw man interested in the welfare of his people and peace in the regionâ€.
Stating that he knew all the militant camps in the region, having visited them, Alamieseigha advised them to key into the amnesty programme in their own interest, stressing that their demand was unacceptable to him.
He stated further: â€œI know what I went through in prevailing on the government to stop the bombardment of Okerenkoko and Oporoza recently. Nobody should come to me for help after October 4.
â€œIf the militants fail to surrender their arms and the Gbaramatu incident repeat itself, that is to their own detrimentâ€.
The member representing the Bomadi constituency in the State House of Assembly, Mr. Reginald Dombraye, said there were no militants in his constituency, adding that Bomadi was only made a collection point because of its central position between the creek towns and upland communities. He insisted that the groups who decline to surrender their arms were not from Bomadi.
The President of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Western Zone, whose team facilitated the arms surrender, Comrade Pamotei Warisuwotei, expressed disappointment over the conduct of the intransigent militants leaders, adding that no groups have been given money to surrender arms since the exercise commenced.
He saidÂ â€œif what they have done today is good for them they should also be able to bear whatever befalls them after October 4, after all everyone now knows they have arms in their possessionâ€.