“We Are Going Back to Creeks”, Niger Delta Ex-Militants Warn By Isaac Eranga, Benin

The Niger Delta ex-militants in Edo State numbering over 3,000 have threatened to pick up arms and return to the creeks over the non payment of their entitlements.
The ex-militants who were on a peaceful protest to the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council, amidst tight security, Tuesday, said they were not members of the Niger Delta Avengers but ex-militants, who embraced the Amnesty Programme initiated by the late Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua’s administration.
The ex-militants said it was now five months that the Federal Government had stopped paying their entitlements, saying they find it difficult to feed and to pay house rents.
They said the only option they have is to go back to the creeks. They gave the Federal Government three days which will elapse on Thursday July 7th.
According to one of the agitators, Glad Teteh, “the present amnesty programme does not work. They claim they are empowering us with 2.3 billion naira but the items they bring is not up to N200,000. They should do something. Most of us now have problem with our landlords, our children have been driven away from school. We are tired and the only solution is to return back to the creeks”.
Amos Dikko said: “The Benins are now sending us away from their houses because of our inability to pay our rents. They now see us as enemies. Please we want Federal government to act in order for us not to return back to the creeks”.
“If they don’t pay our money, we will join the Niger Delta Avengers. The gas flare and spillage from the oil companies have spoilt farms hence making it difficult for us to farm. They should please pay our money”, said Philemon Godspower
Responding, the Edo NUJ chairman, Roland Osakwe, said they did it well for coming to the NUJ to express their grievances.
He said a hungry man is an angry man, saying hunger is not a friend to any one.
He urged them to continue to be law abiding and to desist from blocking the roads while fighting for their rights.
“You people submitted your guns and embraced the Amnesty programme, so the Federal Government needs to pay for peace to reign in this country.” the NUJ chairman said.

Author: News Editor

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