Beneficiaries of the Niger Delta third phase presidential amnesty programme have threatened to demand the return of their arms and ammunition from the Nigerian government and return to the creeks to cause havoc if the government does not finalise the demobilisation process for them.
The group while commending the interim administrator of the presidential amnesty programme, Col Milland Dixon Dikio, said It was unfortunate that over 11 years after surrendering their arms, the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process has not been completed.
The National Chairman of the group, Mr Tonye Bobo, while speaking during a visit to members of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Yenagoa on Thursday, urged the amnesty office to document those who surrendered their arms and ammunition but have yet to be documented into the programme to ensure complete peace in the Niger Delta region.
He said despite the fact that the interim administrator of the scheme, Dikio has tried in solving most of the issues confronting the ex-agitators, but the office should be funded to do more.
He also demanded that the third phase of beneficiaries of the programme should be included in education and vocation training programmes for its delegates.
He said: “It’s unfortunate that we have stayed for 11 years plus and the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration is not completed, we are just trying to calm our followers, but our patience should not be considered to be foolishness.
“That is why when we saw the vision of Col. Dikio for the amnesty programme, we decided to key in to restore peace in the region.
“I want to assure you, if the needful is not done, there will be more agitations, we are only trying to calm our people for us to change the narrative. We are seeking maximum support from the government to the office of the Interim Administrator of the Amnesty programme. All the funds that are required and due to the office should be released.”
He said some of the militants who had embraced peace “have been crying that if the government is not reasoning with them, they will be demanding for their arms and ammunition that they submitted to the government”.
“We want to partner with the government and create a relationship that will be free of violence, so that people will know that what they are thinking about us is not what we are.
“Some of our people have applied since 2012 for education scholarships, up till date, these things have not been met,” he said.