Dreaded Militants operating in parts of Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states have finally submitted their arms and ammunition to embraced the federal government’s amnesty programme in Ondo State.
The militants, are behind the kidnap of the six Senior Secondary School Students of Lagos Model College,Igbonla, Epe in Lagos state, Arepo pipeline vandalization and several attacks in the riverine areas in the south west.
The militants were led by their leader, Ogailo Iborry Young, a.k.a O.C to the Collection and Documentation of Arms Centre in their hometown, Ajapa Community in Ese-Odo local government area of the state where they willingly dropped their arms and ammunition.
The funfare event, witnessed by the Deputy Governor and Chairman of State Amnesty Committee, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, representatives of Delta State Government, Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Navy Forward Operation Base, Igbokoda, Navy Captain Usman Yahaya among others was seen by the residents as a way of restoring peace into the riverine area.
Arms submitted included : Browning wz machine gun, Daewoo K3, Colt Automatic Rifles, General Purpose Machine gun, Breda 30, Fiat Revelli Modelling, AK 47 Rifles, Rocket Launcher, CETME Ameli, Heckler & Koch MG4, Pump Action and some Automatic Cartridges.
Also, military uniforms, police bullet proof vests, dynamites , bombs and helmets were submitted.
In his address, Iborry Young appreciated the state and the federal government for the fresh Amnesty initiative.
He traced the source of their arms to the Ijaw/Ilaje crisis of 1998/1999 and blamed on joblessness, poverty and neglect by government.
In his words, ” if we may be asked our reasons for embarking on this struggle, our simple asseveration to the public and other concerned authorities is that it is joblessness, suffering, poverty, oppression and neglect by the Government ”
The leader of the repentant armed bandits said they decided to dump their oil bunkering business and hatched another game plan to attract the attention of the government.
According to him, “as it got to this point, we did not find life very easy. Thus, we relocated to Ogun State where the government college Ugbonla, Epe school boys were kidnapped whose release led to the present arrangement through the courageous efforts of the deputy governors of Ondo and Delta states.
” We did not kidnap these boys for mere ransom but to negotiate our freedom and full reintegration to civil life”.
Ajayi said the exercise was impressive as sophisticated ammunitions were surrendered.
“Looking at the sophisticated guns and ammunitions surrendered, I’m happy that they ( militants) made promise and fulfilled it.” he said
Ajayi assured the readiness of the federal government to fulfil its own promise in providing employment and education programme among others for the repentant militants for them to be self reliant if they embrace peace.
He rejoiced with residents of Ajapa community for the peace that finally restored to the community after face off between them and military.
While urging them to always embrace peace to reign, the Deputy Governor said they need to embrace peace for oil company to commence operation in the area.
Ajayi allayed fear as no one or government will launch attack on the oil producing areas of the state after the submission of arms and ammunitions by the armed youths.
Also speaking, Navy Captain Yahaya, said the exercise in Ajapa community is more impressive in relation to the record of the exercise since it has started.
Earlier, about five militant groups, the Awaja, Ogoolorunyo led by Job, Ebie, Dragon and Atupa camps submitted their arms and ammunition and embraced amnesty programme.
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