Ex-militants from the coastal area of Ondo State, on Monday, protested over their non-inclusion in the Presidential Amnesty Programme of the Federal Government, threatening to return to the creek if the Federal Government failed to include them in the programme.
The angry protesters who are from the Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government Areas of the state kicked over what they described as the insensitivity of the Federal Government to their plight and alleged exclusion from the amnesty programme.
Expressing the grievances of the former Militants, the Spokespersons, General Job Omotuwa and General Ogailo Ibori, faulted the government’s insensitivity to their plight, claiming it has failed to facilitate the amnesty programme, after laying down their arms.
The group in a letter addressed to the National Security Adviser to the President, Babagana Mongoro, requested his assistance in absorbing and enlisting them into the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The letter read: “We the youths and ex-militants of the mandate areas in Ondo State which comprise of Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government Areas of Ondo State have been abandoned and neglected by the government at various levels in its Presidential Amnesty Programme till date having been so disarmed for reintegration.
“The Ex-Militants and the entire youths of the mandate areas accepted the offer, terms and conditions of the Federal Government by embarking on or keying into the disarmament/presidential amnesty exercise of Ex- Militants in November 2017 and have accordingly surrendered or handed down to the Government arms and ammunitions of various degrees and purposes in a week-long Disarmament/Presidential Amnesty exercise in sometime November 2017.
“But the government has blatantly failed, refused and neglected to honour or fulfil its part by absorbing us into the current Presidential Amnesty programme carried out by the government in November 2017 till date.
“Sir, the government at all levels have abandoned, neglected and relegated us to our current hopelessness and ill-state having been so disarmed since November 2017.
“lt is our earnest yearning and prayer that you use your good office, influence and position as a man of the youth to absorbing us into the Presidential Amnesty Programme being the basis of the November 2017 disarmament exercise carried out by the government.
The militants said further, “it is painful to note that till date, no step or nothing has been made to absorb, ameliorate, mitigate and cushion our suffering and such calls for your honest, drastic and prompt attention being the Honourable Security Adviser to the President to assist and help us to be so absorbed in the Presidential Amnesty Programme as an integral part of the integration process sir.
“Sir, the need for your prompt and firm attention in enlisting and absorbing us into the Presidential Amnesty Programme is crucial and cannot be overemphasised since the government has failed, reneged, refused and neglected to honour her part of the said Amnesty/Disarmament Agreement or contract of November 2017 till date.
“The Special Adviser to Mr President /Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Committee and all other relevant stakeholders in the integration process have also failed, neglected and /or refused to honour our plight of absorbing and enlisted as beneficiaries like others in the Amnesty Programme despite all efforts have been made to reach out to them regards our suffering and abandonment since 2017 till date.
“At this juncture, it may interest you to note that having us been so disarmed and abandoned by the government till date, we can no longer feed ourselves, family(s), cater for love ones currently on sick beds at various hospitals and healings homes/centres, sponsoring ourselves, children or dependents in achieving their various academy goal/pursuits since we have been left to our current despair, ill-fate and neglect despite our relentless efforts made to reach out to the government till date.
“Finally, we strongly believe in your ability in resolving and eradicating our neglect in the current Presidential Amnesty Programme by the Government, otherwise, we will be left with no other option than to return to our former means of livelihood if the government continues in its so neglect of us.”