About 200 former militants, on Friday, took to the streets of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, protesting over non-payment of allowance as agreed by the Federal Government in the amnesty deal with them.
The protest paralysed social and commercial activities in the city while it lasted.
A mobile policeman escaped being lynched after he was accused of firing gunshots into the air to scare the protesters.
It was gathered that the policeman would have been set ablaze, but for the timely intervention of soldiers attached to the Joint Military Task Force (JTF).
The protest, the third in the last one month, started around 6.00 a.m. The ‘repentant’ militants barricaded the only road leading to the city at Akenfa end of Yenagoa Local Government Area, thereby disrupting the traffic.
People were forced to stay indoors while social activities were suspended for the period the protest lasted.
The former militants, said to belong to various camps, accused governments at various levels of insensitivity.
According to them, since they were disarmed, the government had not kept its own side of the bargain, especially the payment of the N65,000 monthly allowance.
Some of the former militants, who spoke under condition of anonymity, claimed that the government was only taking care of their former leaders, forgetting about the followers.
“What they (the Federal Government) told us before we accepted the amnesty offer is not what we are experiencing now.
“They agreed to pay each of us N10 million disarmament allowance, but as I am talking to you now, we are yet to receive a dime,” said one of the militants.
With less than two weeks to the deadline of the disarmament programme, the aggrieved militants have threatened to go back to the creeks and launch a fresh offensive.
However, The Tide gathered that the delay in the payment of the allowance by the Federal Government Amnesty Implementation Committee was attributed to logistic problems.
The Tide learnt that the state chairman of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee, James Jephthah, has established a link with various commanders of former militant camps to ensure that there was no confrontation between the aggrieved former militants and security operatives.
“We had to intervene and link up with the militant leaders to prevail on the ‘boys’ to stay calm and allow the amnesty committee to resolve the existing bureaucratic difficulties.
“The agreement on the payment of allowances through the leaders still stand and it will not fail,” Jephthah said. As of the time of filing this report, security had been beefed up around the state capital while business and commercial activities had resumed.
Four Decades After, Jonathan Hosts Class’81 UNIPORT Alumni …Recommits To United Nigeria, Visits Oloibiri Oil Well One
Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, recently played host to Class ‘1981’ Alumni Association of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni
Jonathan, who is an alumnus and a member of the pioneer graduate class of 1981 of the federal institution alongside other of his former school mates, participated in reunion activities which commenced 25th November and ended on Saturday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
A statement made available to newsmen from the media office of the ex-President notes that activities earlier lined up for the programme include a lecture, an excursion and a dinner and award night, respectively.
The statement added that the reunion programme is part of activities of the alumni aimed at fostering bond among old classmates and a platform to deliberate on issues affecting their alma mater and give back to the school and society in general.
The Tide which monitored the reunion learnt that the Pioneer Students-graduants of the Port Harcourt situated University also paid a reunion courtesy visit to the pioneer Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ebiegberi Alagoa in his Nembe-Ogbolabiri country home, Nembe council area of the oil rich Niger Delta state.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion were King Alfred Diete-Spiff, former Governor of Old River State and Amanyanabo of Twon Brass who was the Royal Father of the event
The Tide gathered that the University of Port Harcourt was established in 1975 as University College, but was upgraded to a full-fledged university in 1977. The school popularly called Uniport has over the years groomed many illustrious leaders and trailblazers of international repute and the reunion was meant to encourage young and upcoming generations on the power of education.
Meanwhile, former president has again harped on the need for a United Nigeria, describing the country as blessed with both human and natural endowment, saying Leaders should focus more on building a United nation where no one society or tribe should be more valued than the other.
“Leaders should focus more on uniting Nigerians, if one society or group of people or tribe is more valued than the other then there’s be disunity and disenchantment from those who feel not being a accorded their rightful respect and value”, he said.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,Yenagoa
A’Ibom Delegation In South Korea To Drive Seaport Realisation
A delegation from Akwa Ibom State, comprising members of the Ibom Deep Seaport Committee is currently in, Seoul, South Korea to drive Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision for the rapid realisation of the seaport.
Among members of the delegation are Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon, and Chairman of the Implementation Technical Committee, Mrs Mfon Usoroh.
They are among the Nigerian contingent to the Maritime Sector and Harbour Development programme in Seoul, South Korea.
The Nigerian contingent is under the leadership of the Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Ambassador Ali M. Magashi.
Opening up on the essence of the visit, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport said it was to help offer inputs for the development of lbom Deep Seaport.
According to Commissioner Akan Okon, the visit will also enable Akwa Ibom State tap into the broadening bilateral relationship between Nigeria and South Korea, especially in the areas of maritime security and economic development.
“Having invested so much in the Ibom Deep Seaport, the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel will continue to seek ways that would ensure the Ibom Deep Seaport is optimally beneficial to Akwa Ibom people, when it is finally established.”
Mr Akan Okon assured that, “on our part, we’ll continue to work tirelessly to drive Governor Udom Emmanuel’s lofty vision for Akwa Ibom State.”
Gunmen Kidnap DPO, Demand N50m Ransom
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Fugar Division in Etsako Central Local Government Area identified as Ibrahim Ishaq has been reported kidnapped near Ise river along the Auchi – Ekperi-Agenebode road.
It was gathered that the police officer was travelling with his orderly last Friday when they were attacked by the kidnappers.
A source close to the police said: “He was coming from Agenebode to Fugar and he passed through Ekperi Road and they were attacked. He was kidnapped but his orderly escaped and the kidnappers have made contact this morning and they are demanding N50million. The incident happened around 6:30 pm on Friday.”
As at the time of filing this report, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Edo State was yet to respond to a text message sent to him.
But it was gathered that the Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu has ordered immediate deployment of men of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime unit, men of the Tactical and Srike teams of the state Police Command to move to the area to rescue the DPO unhurt.
Fear has enveloped the community, with members debating the incident and arguing that “if a DPO can be abducted, who is safe?”.
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