‘Don’t Make Us Regret Dropping Our Arms & Ammunitions’, is the veiled warning from over 6, 000 ex-militants to the Ondo State government.
The ex-militants voiced out their angst in Akure, during a visit on Dr Victor Koledoye, the Permanent Secretary, of the state’s Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, OSOPADEC.
Speaking through their leader, General Job Omolua, they insisted government had abandoned and neglected them despite abiding by their side of the agreement of the amnesty programme.
-‘Don’t Make Us Regret-
“Our requests are simple. Permanent empowerments for our members, Palliative measure to cushion our state of hunger without delay, monthly stipends for our members (Amnesty), Surveillance activities by our members, and Clearing of Water Hyacinth (Lakuwa) by our members”.
According to them, they represent the Youths and Ex-Militants of mandate areas in comprising of Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government Areas of Ondo State who willingly subscribed to the amnesty programme to bring absolute peace to the region, but that the government seemed to be reneging on its promises.
The group said its members accepted the offer, terms, and conditions of the Federal Government by embarking on or keying into the disarmament/presidential amnesty exercise of Ex-Militants in November 2017, accordingly surrendering their arms, wondering why the government at the federal and state levels were reneging on their part.
According to them, “granting us our few requests will not make our members regret ever submitting their ammunition for peace to reign and our members will not go back to the creeks.
“We are not troublesome youth but committed party members who have paid their dues but are left to face hunger.
However, passing a vote of confidence in the new leadership of the Commission to address their demands without usual delay, they added:
-‘Don’t Make Us Regret-
“We believe that with the development at the OSOPADEC, various bottlenecks that had hindered them from getting government’s attention will no longer be experienced.
“Having engaged this commission (OSOPADEC) close to four years and our encounters with characters that form this commission, your ways of addressing and encouraging us on the genuine intention of government towards our requests and appeals is quite appreciated.
“As the person assigned to manage this commission, for now, we are pleased to say that you are a familiar terrain through whom our long agitations can be achieved without delay due to your endowed wisdom and ways of doing things.
“We are confident that there are no obstacles before you to drive home our request to the government especially when working with the present Deputy Governor Hon Lucky Ayedatiwa (Acting Governor).
Responding, Dr Koledoye denied that the present administration in the state had abandoned them but assured that the state government would soon put smiles on their faces