By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”As the Federal Government vows to go tough on defiant militants in the Niger Delta after the October 4 deadline to disarm, a hitherto unknown armed group operating in the Nembe creek in Bayelsa East senatorial district yesterday surrendered arms in its possession, including a native pot used in preparing charms to fortify its members.
The Nembe, Bassambiri-based group, with a strength of 42 men, surrendered only eight arms and assorted number of charms, thereby raising suspicion among those present on the genuineness of the group.
The brief hand over ceremony took place at the Isaac Boro Peace Park in the heart of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
At the time of filing this report, two other unknown groups also operating in the troubled creeks of the state, which had earlier promised to disarm, were being expected at the Peace Park.
Weapons surrendered by the Nembe creek group, led by Commander Inilo Sinite, aged 29, include one General Purpose Machine Gun, 3 G3, one diver gun, two local guns, one local pistol, one tear gas, one cutlass, three magazines, a native pot with tripod stand, 52 mix ammo and charms.
However, there was a mild drama at the venue of the hand over when the arms were being packed in the special crate provided for the exercise, as none of the security operatives was prepared to carry the native pot filled with charms.
Entreaties from one of the security operatives to the leader of the group to assist in carrying the native pot was turned down by the latter who said they donâ€™t have anything to do with it again.
He rather pleaded with the amnesty committee members to get them a strong man of God to pray for them so that they will not return to their old ways.
The argument was, however, brought to a close when an army sergeant who was watching the unfolding drama dashed forward and bundled the native pot into a Toyota Hilux jeep to the surprise of all.
The leader of the group, Commander Inilo Sinite, who claimed to be a businessman, blamed the sad turn of event in the Niger Delta on neglect and the near absence of government in the communities, especially in the coastal enclave.
Sinite lamented the incessant oil spills in the region and called on the federal government to prevail on the oil companies to empower youths in their areas of operation.