1 April 2010

Nigeria: Amnesty - Miltants Gives FG 7-Day Ultimatum

Lagos — Repentant Niger Delta militants yesterday issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement the second phase of the amnesty programme.

According to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), militants will resume attacks on oil installations and selected areas, if government fails to implement the programme within seven days.

The demands, the group said, include fast tracking of second barge amnesty process and the full reintegration of its members to the society.

In a statement signed by the affected ex-militants and made available to Daily Champion in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, they frowned at the nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government towards their plights.

The groups also declined to reveal when attacks on oil installations and selected places in the region would resume.

The group which made the demand after a meeting which had in attendance General Paul, AST Kpala, Ekisimene and others, demanded the payment of amnesty benefits as it was applicable in the first barge.

The group said: "We shall not take it kindly, if there is no positive response from government before one week date, we will strike."

It will be recalled that MEND recently detonated two bombs some 200 metres away from the Government House Annex, Warri, Delta State, venue of a two-day post amnesty dialogue by Vanguard Newspapers.

The event had just started with a welcome address by the chairman of the occasion, a former Chief of Defence Staff, General Andrew Owei Azazi (rtd) and the Chairman/Publisher of Vanguard Media Limited, Mr. Sam Amuka was explaining the reason for the Vanguard initiative when the first bomb was detonated.

The second bomb planted inside a car across the road on Effurun-Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Expressway near the Government House, Warri exploded 30 minutes later, forcing the stakeholders to leave the hall.

MEND claimed responsibility for the explosions and in fact sent out electronic mail statements before they were detonated.

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