Amnesty: More ex-militants troop to Ondo centres, pledge peace

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Several repentant militants from Ajapa community, Dragon, Atupa and Ebie camps, Ugbo community all in the Southern Senatorial District of Ondo State have surrendered their arms and ammunitions to the state government.

In Ajapa community in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of the State, arms and ammunitions surrendered include 22 AK 47, 13 pump action, three G3, one brandy machine gun, one MG, 127 single barrel and 40 dynamites.

Others are one rocket granite launcher, one pencing, GPNG, roles of bullets and cartridges.

Several police bullet proofs and few soldier bullet proofs including military camouflages and police helmets were also submitted by the repentant youths.

Also at Dragon camp, lgbokoda community and Atupa and Ebie camps, Ugbo community in llaje Local Government area of the state, various arms and ammunitions were surrendered by the former armed youths in the communities which include rocket granite launcher, AK 47, pistol, bullets, cartridges, locally Dane guns and dynamites.

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) had given a -21 day grace for the submission of arms and ammunitions by the ex-militants in the Niger-Delta area of the state.

The exercise which entered its 12th day on Monday has recorded massive turn out of ex-militants in the five collation centres including Igbekebo, Arogbo, Ugbonla, Ajapa, and Igbokoda, all in the southern senatorial district of the state.

Men of the Nigerian Army, the Navy , Police, and Civil Defence as well as representatives of each militant camp were present at the collation centres to ensure that only authentic militants benefit from the programme.

The Ondo State Deputy Governor and Chairman, State Amnesty Committee, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, after touring Ajapa community and camps of the repentant militants said the exercise was impressive as sophisticated ammunitions were surrendered.

"Looking at the sophisticated guns and ammunitions surrendered, I'm happy that they (ex-militants) made promise and fulfilled it." he said

Ajayi assured of the readiness of the Federal Government to fulfil its own promise in providing employment and education programme among others for the repentant militants for them to be self reliant if they embrace peace.

He rejoiced with residents of Ajapa community for the peace that has been finally restored to the community after the faceoff between them and the military.

While urging them to always embrace peace, the Deputy Governor said they need to embrace peace for oil companies to commence operation in the area.

Speaking with journalists, the Commander, Nigeria Navy Forward Operation Base, lgbokoda, Navy Captain, Chindo Usman Yahaya, said the exercise in Ajapa community is more impressive in relation to the record of the exercise since it started.

He affirmed that the submission of weapons by armed youths in Ajapa and camps has surpassed records in other collation centres in terms of quantity and quality of arms and ammunitions surrendered.

Yahaya pointed out that a machine gun in calibre of 12.7MM ammunition and general purpose machine gun and pump action among others were received from the armed youths.

"With this set of ammunitions received, the exercise is very encouraging and impressive," he noted.

He assured of the military protection on the people of the areas in line with law to protect their lives and property.

Yahaya said "In as much as they remain obedient citizens, they don't have problem"

He called for the support of the people of the area for security officers to protect lives and property.

The youths came out enmasse at the collation centres and camps led by their various leaders to surrender their arms.

One of the leaders of the armed groups, General Gbadi Maka of Forest Soldier and O C Camp, Ajapa community, commended the Federal Government and Ondo State Government for the amnesty opportunity offered to them, describing it as life changer to armed youths.

Maka assured of the readiness of armed youths in the area to key to the exercise and surrender their arms.

He appealed to the Federal Government to also keep to its own promise in providing job opportunities for the youths in the oil producing area of the state.

While assuring the APC led government at both Federal and state levels of the support of the residents of Ajapa community, Maka appealed to government to give adequate attention to abandoned projects in the community.

Also Forest Soldier armed group, llaje led by General Omotua Joe, thanked the Federal Government for the exercise and called on other armed youths who are yet to submit their arms to surrender theirs and embrace peace.

While leading his group to surrender its arms and ammunitions, the leader of Dragon Camp, llaje, General Mayowa, said government should not come and attack them after submitting their weapons.

He assured that all the five camps under his control would be directed to surrender their different ammunitions for peace to reign.

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