Akure — Ondo State Government on Thursday granted amnesty to militants operating in the state with a call on all other militants to embrace the programme.
The State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, who announced the amnesty, said the state had already opened an amnesty office in Akure, the state capital with centres in five Local Government Areas of Ondo South Senatorial District.
The governor gave the militants a 21- day ultimatum to surrender all arms in their possession within the stipulated period.
Akeredolu who hailed the Federal Government's support for the amnesty programme, said his deputy, Hon Agboola Ajayi, has been appointed the chairman of the committee on the amnesty programme in the state.
He said that the committee will also work with the office of the Special Adviser to the president on Niger Delta Affairs and chairman of the federal government's amnesty programme.
He urged traditional rulers to support the amnesty programme, just as he called on the militants to embrace the programme in the interest of peace and development of the state.
The militants who were mainly from Ilaje and Ese odo Local Government Areas of the state stormed the International Event Centre, Dome.
Akeredolu said "the state government will henceforth take harsh steps to curtail militancy. Our country cannot continue to be in crisis. It is time we must embrace peace and shun crisis."
He assured that the state government would provide jobs for militants who willingly surrender their arms, adding that the government will also organise trainings for them to make them relevant in the society."
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan advised the government to ensure that only genuine militants benefit from the amnesty programme.
He also stressed the need for the government to appoint only indigenes of the oil producing areas of the state as officials of the amnesty programme.