By Emma Amaize
KOKOâ€”A MEMBER of Delta Waterways and Security Committee (DWSC), Mr. Newuwumi Omolubi, has said that arms struggle by militants and illegal acquisition of arms by unauthorized persons would not come to an end except the Federal Government investigate the sources of the recently surrendered arms by ex-militants and cork the escape valves.
Speaking at Koko, the headquarters of Warri North local government area of Delta State, Omolubi said â€œsome of the rifles we (Ijaw and Itsekiri) submitted are very old ones with most of their serial numbers missing because they were cleverly scrapped so they cannot be traced while the sub-machine guns are some of the ones used during the civil war, so tell me how these weapons got to their hands. Where were they acquired?
â€œThe Federal Government needs to investigate the sources of these weapons and tighten up the security in this country. Government lack good investigators and good security operatives, they refuse to pay attention into investigation and that is why, for example, prominent men like Bola Ige, Harry Marshall and others were killed and up till now, the killers have melted into the thin airâ€.
He also said arms and ammunition have continued to disappear, even in government armoury, without trace; a situation, he noted, has worsened the insecurity in the country.
Omolubi urges government to stop the movement and illegal acquisition of arms, the war against crimes and other vices might just be a mirage, as people in the region have now learnt to defend themselves in the face of governmentâ€™s inability to do so.
â€œWhen they took over Itsekiri towns and villages for three years, the federal government could not come to our rescue to protect our lives and properties, and like we said in our speech during the arms laying down ceremony, if the federal government had listened to our cries then, they wouldnâ€™t have committed a whopping N300 billion so far, instead of less than N10 million then.
â€œThe federal government should realize that the incompetence of its leadership has cost us so much, what a pity?â€Â He added.
The arms submitted to the amnesty committee by the Itsekiris at Koko, according to the Itsekiri youth leader, were the ones they acquired in the wake of the Warri crisis when they were being killed and maimed by their ethnic neighbours, even in the presence of federal government security agents.
He saidÂ Itsekiris were neither militants, hijackers, kidnappers nor vandals of oil facilities or criminals,Â as the guns laid down were for protection of their communities .
He said that was the reason â€œno Itsekiri canÂ be found in the militant rehabilitation centresÂ queuing to collect the federal governmentâ€™s largesse to militantsâ€.
The youth leader, however, asked the federal government to handle their part of the deal with all seriousness, fairness, rule of law, justice and equity, warning that the region might explode again if it failed to develop the region and find jobs for its teeming youths as earlier promised before the amnesty.