19 November 2012

Nigeria: Ex-Militants Chase Former Leaders for Alleged Embezzlement

Yenagoa — Some ex-militant leaders from Bayelsa State are on the run, following a manhunt for them by splinter groups of disarmed ex-militants for allegedly siphoning their entitlements.

Chairman, Second Phase Amnesty Unpaid Ex-militants, numbering about 1,000, Emomotimi Azebri, told Vanguard yesterday, that their leaders in collusion with some government officials allegedly diverted their money for personal use.

He said: "Initially, we received our monthly entitlements for about two to three months through our different accounts opened for the purpose in the United Bank for Africa, UBA, before our ex-militant leaders, in conjunction with some unscrupulous government officials, diverted the money to their private pockets.

"We have put in place a machinery to check their movement. So long as they live in the county, there is no hiding place for them.

"We are ready to die with these ex-leaders, who are busy buying fleets of cars and building houses and sleeping in hotels with our money."

He said a similar problem reared its head in neighbouring Delta State recently but added that delegates from the Presidency partially addressed it.

Azebri said they would want a similar intervention by the Presidency in Bayelsa State.

He stated the determination of the ex-militants to quiz their runaway leaders whenever they were caught.

He said the ex-militants would, henceforth, take their destiny in their hands and burn houses and vehicles discovered to have been acquired with their money.

Azebri said some of the affected ex-militants served in Ogri and Egane camps, and warned that their runaway leaders would not be spared when ever they were caught.

"We are angry. If we see them, we will handle them with our hands and I tell you, it will be bloody because we will no longer fold our arms.

"They want us to go back to the creek, but we will not return to the creek; we will hunt for them because we know that the Federal Government is paying us, but they and a cabal have stopped payment to us through the bank," he warned.

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