Home NewsOndo State News Amnesty: Akeredolu tasks ex-militants on peace, development  Beneficiaries get 21 days to submit arms

Amnesty: Akeredolu tasks ex-militants on peace, development  Beneficiaries get 21 days to submit arms

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Ondo State governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), on Thursday, tasked militants in the state to embrace legitimate activities geared towards engendering peace and development in the Niger Delta region of the state.
He asked them to offer themselves for the onerous task of developing the state.
Akeredolu spoke in Akure during the proclamation of amnesty for the armed youths in the Niger Delta area of the state by the Federal Government.
The governor, who challenged stakeholders at the event, especially those who had decided to drop their arms, to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the Federal Government.
He said: “All of us agree that our country can hardly afford any major crisis in the Niger Delta at this period. We are convinced of justness of the cause for the emancipation of the people of this part of the country who have suffered neglect for a long time.
“We share the anxiety of those who perceive the plundering of our lands and waters as akin to genocide. We identify with the aspirations of peasants who have lost their peasantry due to reasons connected to oil exploration.
“We recognise the state of despair which define the circumstances under which our people exist. We believe, beyond rhetoric, that sustained plans of development are required to ameliorate the parlous living condition of our
Akeredolu decried any form of justification for brazen acts of criminality, adding that agitations for the emancipation of the people from the morass of grinding poverty could only be creative and collective.
The governor gave the beneficiaries of the amnesty 21 days to submit their arms.
He assured them none of the would be harassed or arrested by security agencies while laying down the arms.
Akeredolu added that five submission points had been designated by the government for the purpose of collecting the arms. He listed the points to include Ajakpa, Igbokoda, Ugbonla, Igbekebo and Arogbo.
He added that resorting to kidnapping, robbery, vandalism of government property and other social vices would hurt the progress and the development of the Niger Delta region.
Akeredolu said: “The problems of the region have been compounded by brigandage. No serious investor will consider the possibility of engaging in any meaningful transaction with the government and the people of a place where security is not assured.
“An atmosphere of violence attracts hunger, insecurity and wants. Constructive engagement is the answer to decades of neglect.”
The governor, however, urged those who may still wallow in the ignorant belief that a life of crime and uncertainty is a veritable substitute for the collective well-being of the Niger Delta region to seize the opportunity provided by the amnesty to lay down their arms.
He said: “We appeal to them to desist from making the misery of the people a source of livelihood.
“Collective grievances must be presented and addressed for the overall benefit of the people. Seeking personal fortunes from the deplorable situation of our people is treasonable. Let all those bubbling with youthful energy deploy same in the service of their land.”
Speaking earlier in his welcome address, Ondo State deputy governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, who is also the chairman of the state amnesty programme, recalled that the activities of the armed youths had hampered harmony, peaceful coexistence as well as a friendly business environment in the region.
Ajayi traced the genesis of arms proliferation in the Niger Delta area of the state to the crisis between Ilaje/Ijaw crisis in the late 90s.
He said the government of that time in conjuction with community leaders of both sides succeeded in ending the crisis between the two warring groups, but added that the level of arms flow could not be controlled.
According to the deputy governor, the failure of the then government to control the level of arms flow created rooms dangerous dimension.
He said: “Armed youths who had participated in the unfortunate crisis gradually turned themselves to ethnic war veterans whose activities suddenly became unbearable even for communities they took up arms to defend

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