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List of repentant militants threatens amnesty deal

By Azu Akanwa

There is anxiety and fear of resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta as the Amnesty Committee is said to have  been  reducing  the number of repentant militants submitted by the ex-militant leaders.

Sunday Vanguard learnt that some of the repentant militant leaders have been finding it difficult to control the anger of their followers who may not make the list of the Amnesty Committee.  It was  gathered, for instance, that the 10, 000 member-list submitted by former MEND leader, Government  Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo), was reduced to 2,000 by the Amnesty Committee.

The situation has drawn the anger of some Niger Delta leaders, including the Coordinator of Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG), Comrade Joseph Evah, who described as an insult to the repentant militant leader and the Ijaw nation, the maximum of 2,000 ex-militants list demanded by the Amnesty Committee from Tompolo.

Visibly angry Niger-Delta Evah  stated that the road map to peace in the Niger Delta  was being threatened by the attitude of the Amnesty Committee.

“I called Tompolo concerning the amnesty documentation because I received a lot of complaints from ex-fighters denied registration and he told me that he was asked to submit a list of  maximum 2,000 repentant militants from his camp. I was shocked. So I went to Asaba to meet with Governor Uduaghan and the governor told me that Tompolo submitted 10,000 names but the Amnesty Committee insisted that only 2,000 names will be recognized from Tompolo”, the activist  disclosed.

The IMG boss said he has registered the anger of the Ijaw group with the governor, urging him to wade into the matter.

“I told the governor that it was an insult and wondered why he is helpless in the matter. If this amnesty ‘apple’  was offered to people like Governor Fashola of Lagos State, he would never allow people who don’t know the pains he suffered from militant attacks on pipelines and oil wells to dictate to him.

Fashola or any other governor in Yoruba  land would have used the opportunity to empower all their youths. So why is it that Niger Delta governors cannot insist on anything with their ‘Abuja Tax Masters?’  Is the money meant for militants not from Niger Delta oil? TOMPOLO alone has over 20,000 boys and they must all be registered. Failure to do so  will amount to provocation of the abandoned repentant militants”, Evah stated.


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