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Ex-militants accuse presidential panel, banks of sabotage

By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa — Ex-militants in the Niger Delta have accused the Federal Government Presidential Amnesty Imple-mentation Panel of conni-ving with some banks (names withheld) to derail the amnesty programme.

According to the ex-militant leaders, a clique in the committee has changed the focus of the amnesty initiative of the government as regards the commence-ment of the rehabilitation and reintegration aspect of the programme.

Former militant leader, Mr. Eris Paul, alias Commander Ogunboss, pleaded with the amnesty committee not to toy with the peace so far achieved under the amnesty programme.

He specifically accused the committee of employing a divide-and-rule tactics that could threaten the peace of the region.

Though he refused to mention names, the ex-militant leader alleged that some people in the committee had lodged the money meant for ex-militants in bank accounts to yield interests for their selfish gains.

“Some of the banks have refused to pay our boys. We want to believe that the amnesty committee is playing with the amnesty the president has put in place. They are banking the money and trading with the money,” he alleged.

Ogunboss, who had over 300 fighters in the creeks of Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State at the height of youth militancy, said the amnesty committee was capable of turning the former fighters against their commanders by holding on to the money meant to rehabilitate them for the past three month.

He alleged that some commercial banks had connived with the amnesty committee to frustrate the genuine intentions of President Yar’Adua.

“The amnesty committee has been pulling our legs and we should advise them that they should not destroy the peace.

For three months now, our boys have not been paid. The excuse was that our boys should open individual accounts, but the banks have rejected the boys.

“I see no reason our boys should be forced to banks to open accounts, only for the banks to send them back to us. They deprive them of their rights as if they are not a part of this country,” he said.


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