Ex-militants protest non-payment of amnesty allowance in Abuja

Ex – militants on Wednesday staged a protest in Abuja over the non-payment of their amnesty allowance for the past two years.
The militants who alleged that they had been enrolled into the third phase of the Federal Governments amnesty programme claim that the government has not lived up to its promises to some of its members after laying down their arms.

A former militant, Alex Makaraba, who was among those in the protest said: “The government asked us to drop our guns for the third phase of the amnesty, that nobody should be with arms in the Niger Delta Region so that there will be peace. We’ve dropped all our guns; they gave us certificates and did accreditation. They promised us that very soon they are going to pay us and empower us.”

He said that after two years, the government is yet to fulfil its promise.

“If we are the people producing the oil, apart from the oil, you promise to give this people (the Niger Delta people) a better life, why are they delaying to pay us this our amnesty money of which everybody knows that we dropped our things (arms)?

“Those are things (guns) people use to eat. That is what they use to feed themselves,” Mr Makaraba said.

Reacting to the protest and demands of the ex-militants, the spokesperson of the amnesty office, Daniel Alabra dismissed their claims, saying that the third phase of the amnesty programme is yet to begin.

The amnesty programme was an initiative of late President Musa Yar’Adua. Through the programme, repentant Niger Delta militants were granted amnesty and empowered to be self-dependent. This according to the initiator of the programme will help to bring peace in the once troubled Niger Delta Region.


One thought on “Ex-militants protest non-payment of amnesty allowance in Abuja

  1. AMNESTY PROGRAM A GOOD BUSINESS TO FEW: Asari Dokubo, Tompolo, Ateke Tom Paid Millions of Dollars Annually
    Posted: August 22, 2012 – 14:46
    By PM News, Lagos
    America’s Wall Street Journal today revealed the mind-boggling million dollar sums
    that the Nigerian government has been paying Niger Delta warlords to keep them off the oil pipelines in the past 12 months.

    Mr. Dokubo Asari, the former warlord that first shot to national limelight collects $9million every year to keep his estimated 4000 soldiers at bay. ‘General’ Ateke Toms and ‘General‘ Ebikabowei Boyloaf Victor Ben collect $3.5million apiece while General Government Tompolo Ekpumopolo is the most priced of all: he gets $22.5 million yearly.

    The newspaper said the figures were gotten from senior officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, which makes the payment direct to these warlords.

    While Dokubo shrugged off the huge payment he receives, about N1.44 billion, as nothing unusual, there is the belief that the selective payments have bred some jealousy among other militants, not so rewarded, who in reaction continue to pillage Nigeria’s crude oil pipelines. Nigeria loses no less than 10 per cent of its crude production to oil thieves on prowl in the Niger Delta, despite the programme of pacification called the Amnesty Programme.

    By Shell’s account, no less than 150,000 barrels of Nigeria’s production are stolen daily, a very low estimate in the eyes of many Niger Delta watchers.

    The Wall Street Journal said in its report that government plans to spend $450 million on the amnesty programme this year alone, despite the increasing theft of crude in the region.

    Said the respected journal: The gilded pacification campaign is offered up by the government as a success story. But others say the program, including a 2009 amnesty, has sent young men in Nigeria’s turbulent delta a different message: that militancy promises more rewards than risks.


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