By Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Militants, under the aegis of Bakassi Freedom Fighters have issued an ultimatum to the Federal Government and the Cross River State Government that they would return to their former ways of agitating violently if the outstanding allowances owed them were not paid by July 11, 2016.
The BFF who issued the warning on Friday when they took their protest to Government House, Calabar, threatened to unleash mayhem on oil facilities and other critical infrastructure of government located in the Niger Delta region if the ultimatum was not met.
The former agitators accused the federal and state authorities of not honouring the agreement reached by all the parties concerning the payment of their monthly allowances.
Leader of the BFF ‘General’ Franklin Dukuku, who spoke shortly after the protest, complained that the state government had failed to pay the former agitators the agreed N1.5m monthly allowances for 10 months while the N65,000 paid to them monthly by the Federal Government had not been paid for five months.
Dukuku who was represented by Clarkson Dauerighe, queried, “Some of us are family members. How do they want us to survive without money?” However, he said the state government had promised to pay them by Monday, July 4,but warned that, “If they disappoint us by Monday, we’ll give them an additional one week of grace. This is a warning. If by the upper week they don’t give us the money as they have said, we will shut down the whole Niger Delta. “This is a national consensus as all of us, from Bayelsa to Cross River, are being owed.”
Dukuku said the militants would bring everything to a standstill at the expiration of their ultimatum.
He said they were communicating with their colleagues across the Niger Delta states for a possible show down with government.
Dukuku lamented that the protesters were given what he said was “only a paltry N50,000″ by an un-named government official for them to pay their way back.
The State Security Adviser (SSA), Mr. Jude Ngaji who reacted to the protest said the action of the former agitators was directed against the federal government. Ngaji said former agitators only sent their message to the federal government through the state government because it was the one closest to them. “They went to Government House to drop a message for us to take to Abuja and I called their boss General Franklin who said he had called them in Abuja and they were trying to facilitate payment.
“It is not about the state government but the federal government. It is the federal government that is with their money because they have not been paid for two months and they are demanding payment, “Ngaji said.