Thursday, 15 September 2016

Militants Embrace Peace, Surrender Arms To Okorocha

Militants Embrace Peace, Surrender Arms To Okorocha

After receiving the arms and ammunition, Okorocha commended the youths for their display of patriotism, assuring that security agents would no longer invade their areas. He also assured that their demands; grievances and agitations would be articulated and forwarded to the appropriate quarters for prompt action.

Militant agitators
from the oil-bearing communities of Imo State who had hitherto held the state by the jugular through destruction of oil installations and terrorising locals, yesterday surrendered their arms and ammunition, including AK47 assault rifles, to Governor Rochas Okorocha.

The ex-militants, numbering over 500, who arrived the Imo Government House in Owerri, the state capital, shortly before midday all dressed in white Tshirts bearing the inscription, “Disarmament of Agitators Powered by the Niger Delta Youths Volunteer Peace Advocacy,” intermittently chanted Niger Delta solidarity songs. The ex-militants, in the presence of security chiefs in the state, did not hide their distaste with the activities of oil companies operating in their communities.

The Deputy Chief of Staff and chairman of the disarmament committee, Engr. Kingsley Uju, who had earlier received the ex-gunmen, including the dreaded Niger Delta Red Squad, said that the occasion was in response to the mandate given to his committee by the governor to find lasting solution to the restiveness in the oil bearing Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta local government areas of the state.

Uju regretted that since 1953 when the oil firms commenced operations in these communities, they had failed to address the yearnings and aspirations of the indigenes, hence the frequent violent outbursts in these areas.

He lamented the wanton neglect of the host communities by the oil companies, which had often led to violent confrontations and commended the youth; some of whom he said had been in the bush for more than three years fighting,for finally embracing peace by laying down their arms.

The aggrieved youths, who later spoke through their respective leaders, accused the multinational corporations of criminally precipitating confusion, exploitation and violence among their people. They lamented that there is neither pipeline surveillance nor the presence of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in these oil-bearing areas unlike the situation in the neighbouring Rivers and Delta states. They implored the Imo State Government to release their members still being held in detention.

After receiving the arms and ammunition, Okorocha commended the youths for their display of patriotism, assuring that security agents would no longer invade their areas. He also assured that their demands; grievances and agitations would be articulated and forwarded to the appropriate quarters for prompt action.