Ex-militants are suffering, IYC tells FG.

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) on Wednesday called on the federal government to pay the backlog of stipends owed ex-militants.


Eric Omare, the council’s spokesman, made the call in a statement, saying the former agitators are suffering.


Omare said the IYC was not happy with the disposition of Paul Boroh, coordinator of the amnesty programme, towards facilitating  the release of the stipends.


He said Boroh had attributed the delay in the payment to the treasury single account (TSA) policy of the government.


“Niger Delta ex-militants under the amnesty programme are being owed five months arrears of stipends,” he said.


Omare said the non-payment had subjected the ex-militants to untold hardship and “miserable” Christmas celebration.


“We also call on the national security adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Munguno, under whose office the amnesty programme is domiciled, to take steps to immediately effect the payments to avoid unnecessary hostility,” he said.

500 Ex-militants Get Training In Advanced Farming

Five  hundred  ex-militants are undergoing training in advanced farming as part of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

The first batch graduated on Tuesday at the Bio-Resources Development Centre (BIODEC), Odi, Bayelsa State.

The Amnesty Office is about to acquire 100,000 hectares in the nine oil producing states for advanced agriculture.

The acquisition is a step in its integration phase under which beneficiaries will be empowered as part of a Strategic Exit Programme (STEP).

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the programme Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh said the programme would partner states and others to boost agriculture, ensure food security and engage beneficiaries.

He said the 500 are being trained in  batches of 100, and taken through  one-month intensive training at BIODEC.

Seventy nine graduated in Fresh Water Fish Production, five in macro propagation of elite plants, such as banana, plantain, pineapple; nine graduated in snail farming, three in grasscutter farming and one in household production.


500 ex-militants get training in advanced farming

FG to ex-militants: We know you are in pains, you’ll soon be paid.

The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has reassured beneficiaries of the programme of payment of their stipends, urging them not to be agitated over the delay.

Paul Boroh, coordinator of the programme, gave the assurance in an interview with NAN on Thursday.

Boroh said the federal government had affirmed efforts to effect prompt payment to beneficiaries.

“I am assuring all beneficiaries under the programme that arrangements are being made to fast-track the payment of their stipends as soon as the amnesty office receives its allocation,” he said.

He said the current administration is aware of the pains the ex-militants are going through and will ensure that they get their stipends soon.

Boroh said his office has been working assiduously to engage relevant agencies of government to explore areas of collaboration in engaging trained beneficiaries.

“The Amnesty office is collaboration with the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to explore areas of cooperation in engaging trained beneficiaries,” he said.

He also called for patience and understanding, saying that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on achieving the ultimate goal of peace and stability in the Niger Delta.

He said the programme had continued to record successes, buttressing his point with the graduation of 97 ex-agitators in advanced farming courses at the Bio-resources Development Centre, Odi, Bayelsa.

Boroh said the programme was being supervised by the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).

He lauded the beneficiaries of the programme for their continuous dedication to the cause of lifting Nigeria to enviable heights using agriculture.

Boroh described the training in advanced farming methods as vital to government’s current crusade to explore the business opportunities in agriculture.

“The beneficiaries were trained in advanced techniques in several farming areas, including fresh water fish production (aquaculture), macro propagation of elite plants, snail farming, grass-cutter farming and household production,” he said.

“The memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NABDA is to facilitate the training of 500 beneficiaries of the programme who are being trained in batches of 100 each for one month.”

Ex-militants Call For Probe Of Amnesty Office

The Association of Third Phase Ex- Militants have called for an immediate probe of the operations of the Amnesty Office, over alleged breach of disarmament agreement by the federal government through the Amnesty office.

National Chairman of the Association, Comrade Wisdom Rufus made the call on Saturday in Abuja, while briefing Newsmen on the challenges faced by the Group as a result of the breach.

The Chairman said “ with the laying down of our arms, the government also made  legal commitments to us including the payment of disarmament allowances, payment of slot for guns surrendered, housing allowances as well as proper documentation of the ex militants of the third phase.”

He noted that “it was in the light of the above that the office of the Amnesty Programme was created and shouldered with the responsibility of ensuring that all members get their entitlements.”

Credit: Leadership

Akwa Ibom Denies Report Of Ex-militants Invasion

Government of Akwa Ibom State has described has false, recent media reports that ex-militants invaded Akwa Ibom State Government House, Uyo.
Responding to the report, carried in national, local and online media, the state Commissioner for Information and Social Reorientation, Mr. Aniekan Umana said  that some persons claiming non payment of amnesty entitlements  emerged along Wellington Bassey road to the Government House, to seek the intervention of the state government over the non payment of their outstanding allowances by the Amnesty office of the Federal Government.

Mr. Umanah said the peaceful emissary of the ex-militants was however, infiltrated by hoodlums, but was promptly controlled by law enforcement agencies.
According to the him, “To maintain law and order, the unruly behaviour of the infiltrators was met with necessary and adequate control by the State Command of the Nigeria Police, who ensured  the hoodlums beat a retreat.”

The information boss who reiterated the commitment of Governor Udom Emmanuel to ensuring the safety of lives and property, maintained that “everywhere in Akwa Ibom State is calm and peaceful.” He called on all law abiding citizens and residents to go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation from any quarters.



Ex-militants Storm Akwa Ibom Govt House, Engage Security Operatives In Gun Duel

A group of armed young men who called themselves former militants, yesterday, stormed the Akwa Ibom State Government House demanding payment of the alleged suspended allowances.
The former militants numbering about 40 who arrived in three mini-buses engaged security agents in gun fight while trying to gain access into Government House, but they were repelled by the reinforced and heavily armed security operatives.
They accused the state government of not responding to their plight by negotiating the payment of their alliances with the Federal Government.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Murtala Mani, who confirmed the clash, said he was not sure if there had been any arrest as he was with the new Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 6, in Calabar.
Mani said he would give details of the event when fully briefed.
Aparently worried by the activities of militants, especially the incessant bombing of oil installations across the Niger-Delta region, prominent elders and leaders of thoughts from the zone have summoned the six core states to a stakeholders’ forum on August 19 at the  Petroleum Training Institute (PTI)  Conference Centre, Effurun near Warri at 11.00am.
Foremost Ijaw national leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, who made this disclosure in  Warri yesterday, noted that the meeting had become imperative to address issues that led to the renewed insurgency in the region.
The states are Delta, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River. The meeting will attract traditional rulers, former and serving governors, politicians, youth organisations and other notable stakeholders.
According to Clark, who is also the leader of the South-South Peoples Assembly (SSPA), “there is urgent need to dialogue. The present problem is not Ijaw problem alone. It is pertinent for the six Niger-Delta states to dialogue and chart a way forward with the Federal Government on how to end the crisis. Vandalism and bombing of pipelines are worrisome situations. Crisis does not solve crisis, dialogue is the answer. We are part of Nigeria and we believe in the unity, development and peace of this great nation.”
He disclosed that invitation to the meeting had been sent out to all stakeholders from the six core states, including serving and former legislators (federal and states), youths and other interests who are key in finding solution to the issue that led to the current crisis.
Appealing to the aggrieved youths, especially members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign while solution was being sought, Clark, urged the Federal Government to be transparent and sincere in its proposed dialogue with militants in the region.

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FG Resumes Cash Payments To Niger Delta Ex-militants

The Federal Government has resumed cash payments to militants in the Niger Delta, officials said yesterday.
The media consultant to the Presidential Amnesty Office, Owei Lakemfa, said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would directly pay into the bank accounts of beneficiaries. The Central Bank was not immediately available for comment.

The Amnesty Programme’s spokesman, Piriye Kiyaramo, initially said the payments, which include tuition for those studying abroad, had been made on Monday, but militants told the BBC that they had yet to receive the money.
Kiyaramo later told the BBC that the money would be paid by last night according to Reuters.
“We expect the amnesty to be paid tonight to 30,000 youths involved in the amnesty programme. The Central Bank has released the money,” he said yesterday.
Under the amnesty deal, each militant is entitled to N65,000 a month and job training.
The government stopped the payments in February, resulting in the militants accusing it of breaching a deal negotiated in 2009. But the government had said it was looking into aspects of the programme to see where it could be revisited. Local militants in the Niger Delta including the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed several attacks on critical oil and gas facilities in the area, especially since the beginning of this year, with the federal government accusing them of sabotaging the national economy.
The latest move is therefore seen as an attempt to curb the attacks which have severely affected oil production.
Lakemfa however said the proposed Maritime University in Okerenkeko, Delta State, which is one of the militants’ demands, is a project of the Ministry of Transport with the Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC).
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) recently said it had commenced the third phase of sustainable reintegration of about 30,000 ex-militants in the region.
Amid attacks and plans by the militants to disrupt the peace and national assets in the region, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, had pleaded with the federal government to pay their outstanding allowances.
In a response, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, retired Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh, said the payments would be made in July, and reiterated the federal government’s commitment towards re-engineering the Amnesty Programme in their favour.
Boroh said the Amnesty Programme had been successful but added that vandalism in the region must be checked.
Several groups have emerged to interface with the federal government in the ongoing dialogue for cessation of hostilities in the Niger Delta, as a result of which sources said the government was gradually being discouraged from the dialogue option.
Besides the well-known Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) that seemed to have struck an accord with the government, there are indications that the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE-A) and the Adaka Boro Avengers (ADA) are presenting separate negotiating teams.
Credit: DailyTrust

Tell EFCC To Leave Tompolo Alone, Ex-militants Beg Buhari

Former Niger Delta militants, weekend, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to leave ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, alone and follow the rule of law in its dealings with him. The erstwhile agitators, who met under the auspices of the Transformed Niger Delta Ex-militants Forum, asserted that some persons, who were envious of Tompolo, wrote a petition against him to the EFCC, but advised that the commission in the discharge of its duties should respect the rule of law.

In a communiqué signed by its national president, Meshach Bebenimibo and others, they said, “We appeal to the President as a matter of urgency to instruct the EFCC to follow due process within 1999 Constitution as amended.” At the meeting held in Warri were Prince Bebenimibo, Bayelsa , Edo, Cross River, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Ondo coordinators of the group, Peter Ayeebide, Austin Peremobowei, Korebor Minama, Anthony Youbai, Oluwah Michael and Oloye Tamarayende.

They said: “We want EFCC to leave Tompolo alone because the petitioners are acting out of jealousy to indict and incarcerate him, that is why they are lying to the whole world that Tompolo sold the land for the building of Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko.”

According to the communiqué, “The petitioners know the truth and the truth is that Tompolo only sold the International Diving Institute buildings at Kurutie community and the place was sand filled before he built the school. Among the structures are lecture halls, multipurpose pavilion, administrative block, vice- chancellor’s lodge and hostels for male and female students.”

“The previous government brought valuers and did all necessary legal things and collected VAT money before paying him about 90 per cent as agreed.

“We also urge EFCC to have a rethink and defreeze Mieka and GlobalWest accounts.” The group, however, commended President Buhari for his interest in the region, particularly the inclusion of fund for the Amnesty programme in the 2016 Budget presented to the National Assembly, saying, “We really appreciate your kind gesture.”

Credit: Vanguard

Ex-militants Threaten War Over Alleged Amnesty Budget Slash

Niger Delta ex-agitators, under the aegis of Presidential Amnesty Phase II, on Monday threatened war over the Federal Government’s alleged plan to slash the 2016 budget for the Presidential Amnesty Office.

They argued that the proposed N20bn for the initiative was unacceptable to them.

The ex-militants comprises those in the 6166 Presidential Amnesty Phase II, 3142 and 20192 Ex-militants Phase III and Phase I.

While the protesters said the amount could not cater for their monthly stipends, they urged the Federal Government to respect the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with them.

The ex-militants in a peaceful protest around major streets of Warri, Delta State, on Monday carried placards with inscriptions such as “Senate President, beg President to leave the amnesty budget alone;” “We say no to the plan to reduce the amnesty budget;” “Buhari, please don’t force us to go back to the creeks;” “Saraki, leave our budget alone;” “Ex-militants reject the 2016 amnesty budget;” and the amnesty budget should increase and not reduce.”

Credit: Punch

We Supported Buhari Because Of Amaechi, Say Ex-Militants

A group of former militants in the Niger-Delta region, under the platform of the Niger-Delta Coalition, has called on the Senate to screen the former Rivers state governor, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi as minister, saying that he was their support for President Muhammadu Buhari.

The ex-militants, led by their president, Mr. Young Piero and secretary, Toriomo Excel, said on Tuesday, in Abuja, that Amaechi was the ‘Lion of Niger Delta’ and that he represented the ‘Change’ the All Progressives Congress (APC) stood for.

The militants said, “It is time for the Senate to recognised him and some others who worked for the peace enjoyed during the last general election. The Niger Delta Coalition does not see any reason why he (Ameachi) has not been screened by the Senate. He is a leader, a coach, an instructor, a mobiliser and a motivator who put his life, family and the lives of many that believed in the struggle to bring about the change Nigeria is talking about today”.

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Appoint Amnesty Office Head, Ex-militants Tell Buhari

Ex-Militant leaders, under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiatives (LPCDI), have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta.

A statement issued yesterday on behalf of the ex—militants by Pastor Reuben Wilson, reads: “We call on the President Buhari to immediately appoint a Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta. This call is sequel to the approval of the number of special advisers by the National Assembly requested by Mr. President and the impending crisis as a result of the vacancy.

“We, therefore, write to implore Mr. President to quickly appoint a credible person as a special adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, which Hon. Kingsley Kuku just vacated. This request is coming on the ground that the absence of the SA/Chairman has hindered the payment of the monthly stipends to the beneficiaries both home and abroad.

“Our brothers and sisters currently schooling abroad on the platform of the Presidential Amnesty Programme are suffering due to lack of funds as they are yet to receive their monthly allowances. There is presently a palpable tension in the Niger Delta region as a result of the non-payment of the monthly stipends for May to the Amnesty beneficiaries.

“It is, therefore, in the interest of peace and stability in the Niger Delta that this situation be nipped in the bud by a speedy appointment of a credible person into the above office. We enjoin Mr. President to treat this matter with the urgency and seriousness it deserves.”


FG Pleads With Ex-Militants Over May Allowances

The Presidential Amnesty Office has appealed to former agitators in the Niger Delta to be calm and eschew any act that would disturb the peace of the region.

The Amnesty Office, in a release by the Head of Media and Communications, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the appeal became necessary following the apprehension caused by the delay in the payment of the May 2015 stipends and in-training allowances to onshore and offshore beneficiaries of the programme.

It explained that the delay was occasioned by the ongoing transition process at the federal level.

It, however, assured beneficiaries that the funds for May stipends and other allowances had been released and was intact, but that the office was awaiting the required directive for disbursement in the absence of a substantive chairman of the programme or a Special Adviser to oversee the programme.

It urged the former agitators to reciprocate the good gesture of President Muhammadu Buhari, who in his inauguration address on May 29 assured of investing heavily in the programme, by maintaining the peace at this time.

It said: “This is a transition period. So it is important for citizens, especially the former agitators, to be patient with the new government, which needs time to settle down to the serious business of governance.”

The office also dismissed as untrue an allegation by some former agitators that the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Peter Ayoola, was planning to divert funds meant for beneficiaries, saying such act was impossible given the strict accounting system in place at the federal level.


Ex-Militants Among Newly Elected Lawmakers In Rivers Assembly- Report

Some of the dreaded Niger Delta militants, who accepted the Federal Government’s Amnesty, have been elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly.

The late President Musa Yar’Adua had in 2009 signed a Proclamation granting Amnesty to Niger Delta militants, who agreed to lay down their arms and embrace peace.

The deal offered an unconditional pardon and cash payments to fighters who surrendered their arms and assembled at screening centers located in many parts of the oil-rich region within 60 days. It targeted up to 10,000 militants whose attacks in the six Niger Delta states cost the country a third of its oil production and revenue.

The amnesty which came to effect on Thursday, August 6, 2009, saw militant commanders, including Government Ekpemukpolo, alias Tompolo, Sogboma George, Ateke Tom, Farah Dagogo, Ebikabowei Ben, alias Boyloaf, Kile Selky Torughedie, alias the Young Shall Grow; surrendering their arms and returning to normal life outside the creeks.

But based on the result of last Saturday’s election released by the state Returning Officer, Faraday Orumwense, a professor of Material Engineering, the ex-militants are among the 25 candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, who won the poll.

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Ex-militants May Take Over Waterways, Pipeline Security

Barring any last minute change, seven companies owed by former Niger Delta militants may, from Monday March 16, take over the security of Nigeria’s wa­terways and oil pipelines.

This is the second time the Federal Government would be handing over the protection of pipelines to ex-militants. The first contract awarded by the government of the late President Umar Yar’Adua expires two years ago and was not renewed immediately.

Daily Sun gathered that a letter from the Presi­dency to that effect has directed the police and per­sonnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDS) to hands off the security of the wa­terways and pipelines for the seven companies with effect from March 16, 2015.

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Ex Militants Warn Obasanjo, Buhari

Ex- Niger Delta militant leaders from the South- South geo-political zone has issued a stern warning to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the presidential flag bearer of APC, Muhammud Buhari, to stop instigating Nigerians against President Goodluck Jonathan.

The ex-militants, under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiatives (LPCDI) cautioned the two former Head of State to be careful of what they say about President Jonathan.

Reuben Wilson, National Coordinator of the group, said the frequent media attacks on the President by Obasanjo were not acceptable,as they are further heating up the polity and fanning embers of disunity. He warned Buhari against the use of religion and ethnicity in the ongoing political campaigns.

Read More: Sahara Reporters

No More Threats As Ex Militants Beg Nigerians To Vote For Jonathan

In a remarkable change of tone, ex-militant leaders from the Niger Delta zone who had threatened mayhem if President Goodluck Jonathan was defeated in the forthcoming presidential election, yesterday pleaded with Nigerians to vote to re-elect the incumbent president. They suggested that Mr. Jonathan be returned to office based on what they described as the noticeable achievements of his administration, noting that the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) had waged a campaign of hate against the president.

Speaking as members of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiatives (LPCDI), the ex-militant figures stated that, though the media campaign against President Jonathan was filled with hatred and deceit, the Nigerian voters should support the president’s re-election based on the achievements of his administration in the areas of education, power, infrastructural development and security.

The ex-militants issued their new toned-down endorsement of Mr. Jonathan at the end of a meeting presided over by the group’s national coordinator, Reuben Wilson, popularly known as General Pastor Reuben. The meeting was held yesterday in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State. The group called on voters to focus on Mr. Jonathan’s performance instead of the rhetoric of hate against his administration.

Briefing reporters on the outcome of their meeting, Mr. Wilson said, “we resolved to call on Nigerians, particularly eligible voters, to rate the candidates for the presidential election based on performance and eligibility. President Goodluck Jonathan has done well and he should be voted in by Nigerians for [a] second term. They should assess him based on performance and not the region he comes from.”

Credit: Sahara Reporters

Don’t Step Foot on Niger Delta Soil, Ex Militants Warn Obasanjo

Hundreds of ex-militants thronged the Ohoror Junction axis of the East-West Road, promising to bar the former president from stepping foot on the Niger Delta region, following Obasanjo’s actions against President Jonathan.

They said they had resolved to attack Obasanjo’s business interest in Port Harcourt, Warri, Asaba, Calabar, Uyo and other cities in the Niger Delta, adding that since he had decided to label President Jonathan as an enemy, he is also an enemy to the region.

Mr. Preye Ekpebide, Delta State Chairman Phase Three Amnesty Programme, who addressed newsmen during the peaceful protest, said Obasanjo’s aspersion on Jonathan was as a result of his failure to use the president as a puppet and surrogate.

Credit: vanguardngr.com

Jonathan, Buhari Causes Division Among Edo Ex-militants

Ex- militants in Edo State have split along lines of loyalty to the two leading president candidates in the February 14 presidential elections, reports say.

While third batch of ex-militants under the amnesty programme are said to be loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan, the South-South ex-militant generals and commanders are said to be working for the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) Muhammadu Buhari.

Coordinator of the Third Phase of Amnesty group, Edwin Ojujoh, said on Sunday that the group is loyal to Jonathan and will work for his re-election.

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GEJ Disowns Ex- Militants

President Jonathan, reacting to threat by some ex-leaders of Niger Delta militants, including Tompolo and Dokubo-Asari, that there would be war if Jonathan is not re-elected to serve his second term, he  said he will vacate seat if he looses the election.

 Speaking through the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, Jonathan said it was reprehensible for people to threaten the country with violence if their candidates lose in the forthcoming election.

He said he has not left anybody in doubt as to his preparedness to conduct a free, fair, credible and transparent election.