Fear, tension in the Niger Delta as angry ex-militants write Buhari over non-inclusion into amnesty programme

Eighteen former militant leaders from three states of the Niger Delta, weekend , sent a protest letter to President Muhammad Buhari over alleged disobedience by the presidential amnesty office to orders of the court in the ongoing five years litigation over their non-inclusion.

The 18 aggrieved ex-militant leaders, drawn from Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states, who had embraced amnesty under the Third Phase, warned that though they embraced amnesty in 2012 and had taken their grievances to a Federal High Court in suit number FHC/YNG/CS/102/2013 in compliance with the peace preached by the federal government, the failure of amnesty to obey court order is provocative.

The failure of the presidential amnesty office under Kingsley Kuku and Retired Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh, to comply with a court order to appear before the court or find ways to settle out of court with the ex-militants was provoking renewed tension and frustration among youths of the region.

The protest letter by the aggrieved ex-militants, Asenekiri Oyinle, Trydi Okpeke, Angiama-Owei Oyindoubra, John Government, Henry Gomoromo, John Sawyer, Dollar Motor, Selebi Ayowei, Bobra Angese, Ekerebi Umber and others, alleged that the sense of frustration and deceit which played out during the era of Kingsley Kuku’s amnesty committee was sustained by the Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh committee without due respect to the court and its orders.

According to the ex-militant leaders, “The Amnesty Committee erred by refusing to include them in the ongoing amnesty programme after series of resolutions from meetings with the past and present National Security Advisers, then and instead of respecting the resolutions and directives from the NSAs, the Amnesty Committee turned down the call to include the ex-militants and adopted a divide and rule tactics with the inclusion of three out of the 22 persons.”

The ex-militant said though the case against the amnesty office was adjourned till 25th July, 2018 due to absence of the Federal High Court Judge, saying: “The failure of the amnesty office to appear in court or settle out of court, as requested by them and ordered by the court, showed that the option left to them may not be desirable to the peace initiative secured by you, the President, during a tour of the region by the Vice President. We are peace loving leaders and resolved to draw your attention to the deliberate undermining of the peace in the region by the amnesty office.

“With the resumption of Professor Charlse Dokubo  as the new amnesty boss, we hope the legal tussle will end, court orders obeyed and the amicable resolution to our lingering suit be sought.

“We acknowledge the efforts of your administration to sustain the existing peace in the Niger Delta and we hope anti-peace elements such as past amnesty heads,Kingsley Kuku and Paul Boroh,  will not become a clog in the wheels of progress, peace and development in the region.”

It will be recalled that the aggrieved ex-militants in a statement of claim against the Presidential Amnesty Implementation Committee had sought the court order compelling the Amnesty Committee to approve reasonable slots for them as agreed at one of the peace meetings of December 19, 2011.

They are asking the court to compel the defendants to pay due allowances of the plaintiffs and their foot soldiers from March, 2012 until the plaintiffs are fully settled under the Niger Delta Amnesty Committee and for the court to compel the defendants to immediately send the plaintiffs and their foot soldiers for the mandatory skills acquisition training for the Niger Delta militants.

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