by crossriverwatch admin
Ex-Militants operating under the umbrella of Bakassi Freedom Fighters (BFF) have threatened to resume hostilities in the Bakassi Water Ways for allegedly being excluded from the ongoing Federal government amnesty training as well as the non-payment of monthly stipends.
The ex-militants numbering over 100 staged a protest at the Government House Calabar on Tuesday, chanting war songs and threatening to go back to the creeks to resume hostilities if the government fails to accede to their demands.
The ex-militants were however stopped some yards away from the Governor’s Office by security men comprising soldiers, police Navy and the SSS who effectively cordoned off the way to Imoke’s office, ordering the ex-militants to retreat or be dealt with.
Spokesperson of the group, Commander Felix Nyong said the group wants the federal government to fulfill its earlier promise of training members of the BFF and payment of monthly allowances.
Nyong said the BFF were treated unfairly by members of the amnesty program under the supervision of Kingsley Kuku as they have reneged on the agreement reached with the group since 2012.
He said, “For us to lay down our arms wasn’t easy. Since the federal government promised to give us our stipend and train us abroad and we have waited for two years now without collecting a dime or going for the training.
“So we felt that if we decided to take laws into our hands we will cause a lot of havoc so we said we should stage this peaceful protest which we are doing today.
“we have been able to inform our Senators, House of Representatives members and we have also sent letters to state security advisers and commissioners of police, Assistant Inspector General of police and the 13 Amphibious Brigade to inform them that the agreement the federal government had with us has been aborted.
“We are not ready for violence that is why we took this measure but that if the federal government refuses to do what they said they will do for us then I can’t hold them any longer”
They, however, accused the Cross River State coordinator of the amnesty program, Mr. Richard Akinaka of diverting their monthly stipends into his pocket.
Nyong stated, “The state coordinator is the cause of this whole problem. He is using people to collect our money, building houses and buying cars while we are suffering.
“People are also using our names to go for the trainings because many of us receive text messages inviting us for trainings but when we go there our original names are not on the training list”
But in a swift reaction, the State Coordinator, Richard Akinaka said, “I don’t know why my name is being mentioned because am not the leader of BFF neither the monies of the amnesty beneficiaries are been paid to me”
“The allegations against me are untrue, orchestrated and carefully authored by the organizers and their sponsors to dent my name and my integrity which I have put forward toward the development of the Niger Delta people and Nigeria in general.
“Their resort to protest for us speaks volume of the success of the amnesty program as every youth in the Niger Delta region now wants to be part of training not minding whether they are ex-militants or not.”
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