Niger Delta militants
By Senator Iroegbu
Some aggrieved former leaders of Niger Delta militants under the aegis of the Association of the 22 Documented Ex-Militants Leaders have petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan, alleging deprivation of their entitlements by the Amnesty Office.
However, the Amnesty Office has clarified that the so -called group was not among the original leaders or members of the Niger Delta ex-militants documented in the programme.
The group had in the petition signed Wednesday, by Mr. Andrew Joel (aka Azazi), urged President Jonathan to instruct his Special Adviser on Amnesty, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, to give them “their entitlements.”
Joel, in the petition, accused Kuku of neglecting and depriving them of their entitlements and called on the concerned authorities to accord them proper and due attention” by ensuring that their benefits get to them.
According to the militants leaders, those are currently benefiting from the programme now are not ex- militants, adding that “the real ex- militants have been abandoned.”
Part of the petition read: “On December 19, 2011, we met with special adviser to the President on Amnesty, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, who subsequently took us to the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) for a meeting in the company of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), the Director General of State Security Service (SSS) and the Minister of Defence amongst others.
“We were urged to fully embrace the amnesty programme of the federal government and maintain peace in Niger-Delta. We were further promised that three months from the date of the said meeting we shall start receiving up keeps like other ex- militant leaders.
“After the meeting, we were all documented (22 in number) at the office of the SSS and we were made to sign forms and all relevant data about our camps and military activities like every ex- militant leader.”
“Sir, to our greatest amazement, none of us have received any form of compensation or upkeep. Instead, Mr. Julius Joseph, and Mr. Kingsley kuku are now parading those who were never ex-militant leaders, nor were they documented as our members,” the petition further stated.
It further read: “The most painful is that these fronts have started collecting money from Federal Government on our behalf. The reliable information available to us is that they are about to meet with the officers of the Federal Government.
However, the Head of Media and Communication of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Dan Alabrah, while speaking to THISDAY, dismissed the ‘so called’ ex-militant leaders as impostors trying to blackmail the Federal Government and Amnesty Office.
Alabrah said all the authentic and documented ex-militants leaders and their followers have been dully settled and taken care of in the Amnesty Programme, adding that the ‘so called’ aggrieved ex-militants were not part of the original group.