Obubra Youths And Chiefs Reject Return of Amnesty Camp

In Breaking News, National News, Reports
Ex-militants in class at the camp in Obubra
Ex-militants in class at the camp in Obubra

by crossriverwatch admin

Chiefs and youth leaders of Ogada II in Obubra Local Local Government Area of Cross River State where the Federal Government Amnesty and re orientation/rehabilitation program for the Niger Delta militants was held have vowed never to allow the program to hold anymore in their community if they are not compensated.

Baring their minds to our correspondent who visited the NYSC Permanent Orientation camp in Ogada II at the weekend on a fact-finding mission, the people complained that not only did the ex-militants commit havoc in their community by indiscriminately impregnating their wives and going after people’s wives, officials of the program were also accused of grievously cheating them.

The village head of Ogada II, Chief Ofute Ovat and the clan head, Chief Moko Okpa Abam lamented that when the Presidential Amnesty program came, they promised them several things, including grading and tarring of roads, building of infrastructures such as hospitals and schools and compensating them for their lands and destruction of economic trees and crops but regretfully, the chiefs said none of that was fulfilled.

Chief Ovat told crossriverwatch that, “I am very angry with them that they lied to us that they would compensate us for the lands they acquired and for the destruction of our economic trees. I don’t think we are going to allow them to return to this community again after all the havoc and cheating they committed against us.

“The ex-militants raped and impregnated our girls and wives. One of them is my grand-daughter, Clara. She was raped and she is carrying a baby for one of them, whose name she gives as Lucky all alone. We are poor farmers in
this community. The amnesty people did not employ our youths nor train them. They only brought criminals to train in our village at our detriment.”

One of the chiefs said they would have to reach a written agreement with them to employ and train their youths before they can agree to their return.

The clan head, Chief Abam said “Even though Amnesty program was not too bad with us but they never fulfilled all that they promised. I told Governor Imoke that as he was giving out our lands, that I only know him and not federal government. If they are actually coming back, we would have to emphasize employment and training of our people and compensations.”

The youth chairman and secretary, Ebenezer Obasse and Monday Irek Araghe respectively, said they were only held back and pacified when they wanted to react during the active days of the program but as they plan to come back, “We shall tell them that they would not cheat us anymore. They would have to employ and train our members otherwise; we would not be taken for granted anymore.”

Obasse stressed that some of their members who were engaged as gardeners, security guards and cleaners were still owed outstanding salaries and appealed that such be off set.

He also said that they would protect their sisters and wives so that the ex-militants no longer rape them. One of the raped and impregnated girls who claimed she was a staff of the Amnesty program, Clara Irek Ibingha and her mother, Freeda Ibingha lamented that they are now heavily indebted to creditors since the pregnancy and weaning of the eleven month old baby boy, named Elizar. They appealed for help from the Amnesty program and kind-hearted people.

Major G. O. Bernard, one of the top officials of the Amnesty program, threatened the journalist for daring to access the camp and for visiting the chiefs of the community.

Speaking on telephone, he claimed that the Amnesty program had fulfilled all that they set out to do, and that they refurbished the NYSC camp. He demanded that the reporter should have contacted him first before venturing into the camp.

He said, “Federal Government voted several millions of Naira for the Amnesty program. We were able to accomplish all that was set before use, including training of the ex-militants, tarring of the community roads and compensations. You journalists are fishing on trouble waters and we can work to ensure that you people lose your jobs. You people should know you have committed crime by entering the camp.”

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