From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Some ex-Niger Delta militants under the aegis of Sea Wolf Avengers have dragged the federal and Ondo state governments to court over alleged breach of amnesty programme benefits to them after laying down arms.
Leader of the group, Deji Williams, at a press conference in Igbokoda, headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, said concerned parties have been served pre-action notice.
He said the ex-militants were aggrieved that the government had not kept to promises made to them which included payment of monthly stipends, surveillance contracts and training on specialised skills both locally and internationally after surrendering arms to embrace amnesty.
“We have made several reports and nothing has been done up till now. In 2017, when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was acting president, he came to Igbokoda, where the youths came out and told him that our major problem is amnesty and surveillance. We told him that we needed amnesty and surveillance. He told Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to immediately come and meet him in his office in Abuja to address the issue.
“After the governor met with the Federal Government, they called on all militants to surrender their arms, after which a meeting was held at the International Culture and Event Centre (The Dome) and that was the amnesty flag off day. After the programme, we were given 21 days to surrender our arms with a promise to pay us monthly stipends as well as expose us to training on skill acquisition programmes. At the event, there was also a promise that some of us would be sent abroad to acquire more skills. We are highly disappointed that the government has not kept its promises. We have made several reports and nothing has been done up till now. We wrote many letters to complain that we have been disarmed by the Federal Government and nothing has been done.”
Williams said militants who disarmed in Lagos and Rivers states and offered amnesty were enjoying stipends but the same privilege was not extended to those in Ondo State.