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Ex-militants attack Amnesty Office in Abuja

A group of young men numbering about 60 that claimed to be ex-militants from Bayelsa State, yesterday, attacked the Abuja headquarters of the Presidential Amnesty Office.

According to the group, it was protesting their non-inclusion in the benefits of the amnesty programme, especially the N65,000 stipend and feeding allowance paid to their colleagues on a monthly basis.

The attackers who damaged the gate of the premises and disputed activities in the amnesty office, were part of the last group of 6,600 ex-militants who got presidential approval only last month to be included in the programme, more than one year after the expiration of October 4, 2009 deadline for them to surrender.

But in a swift reaction, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chief Executive Officer of the Amnesty Programme, Mr. Timi Alaibe, denounced the use of violence by the men whom he alleged were being used by politicians to discredit President Goodluck Jonathan and the programme.

Alaibe said since the inclusion of the group, his office had been working hard to ensure they benefitted from the programme and that indeed arrangement had been put in place for a decentralised payment of the stipend in all the states of the region.

He explained that the payment commenced on Tuesday but that rather than patiently waiting to collect their allowances in their state, the group attacked his office on the pretext of protesting non-inclusion in the programme.

His words: “Given that proper bank accounts are yet to be opened for these new entrants, the Amnesty Office working closely with the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, arranged for the payments to be done directly to the 6,166 ex-militants in pay-parade format at designated locations and this arrangement was promptly communicated to the leaders of the ex-militants who excitedly welcomed it.

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Posted by on Dec 25 2010. Filed under Niger Delta, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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