Over 1,500 self confessed militants, that have made life unbearable especially for law enforcement agencies and residents living within the axis of oil pipelines, have decided to lay down their arms.
They said their decision was based on the peaceful approach by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu. They stressed that all the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) facilities and its subsidiaries must work for the betterment of Nigeria and the economic efficiency in the face of dwindling oil prices.
The militants with their operational base in Arepo, Ikorodu, Abule, Fatorla, Ibafo, Magboro, Epe, Itokin, Ilepete, Okenekene, Agric, Gbokoda camps, Camp 5 and environs in Lagos, said they were tired of the cat and rat living that has existed between them and law Officers.
The militants are reportedly ready to surrender their arms to the Federal Government.
The decision was contained in a statement issued in Abuja, Sunday, by the commanders from Arepo, Ikorodu, Abule, Fatorla, Ibafo, Magboro, Epe, Itokin, Ilepete, Okenekene, Agric, Gbokoda camps, Camp 5 and environs.
They said they were ready to surrender their arms as long as the Federal Government is sincere with the matter.
In a statement signed by General O.C Babaeere and General America Tekeiminikpoba on behalf of other commanders, reads: “We write to express our desire to surrender our arms and embrace the amnesty program as long as the federal government is sincere.
“With the timely intervention of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, we the Commanders from Arepo Camp, Ikorodu Camp, Abule Camp, Fatorla Camp, Camp 5, Ibafo Camp, Magboro Camp, Epe Camp, Itokin Camp, Ilepete Camp, Okenekene Camp, Agric Camp, Gbokoda Camp and their environs, have made up our minds to accept amnesty because of the peaceful approach of the Minister of State for Petroleum.
“We also agree that all NNPC facilities and its subsidiaries must work for the betterment of Nigeria and the economic efficiency in the face of dwindling oil prices.
“However, our willingness to surrender should not be seen as an act of cowardice, rather, as an act of patriotism.
“Also, as we accept this amnesty, it is important to state that the first amnesty was not holistic and was characterized with fraud and fraudulent selections. We were not included in that amnesty programme. Even as we tried all avenues to join the programme, we were ignored completely,” the commanders stated.
On February 5, 2016, five military personnel were killed in the attack in Arepo of Ogun State, coming about four months after seven officers of the Department of State Security (DSS) were ambushed, killed and allegedly buried in shallow graves by vandals at Ishawo , Ikorodu in Lagos State.