Niger Delta ex-militants have penned President Muhammadu Buhari an open letter lamenting ill-treatment of them by the federal government of the day.
According to the letter exclusively made available to TheNewsGuru reporter at the weekend in Warri, the ex-agitators promised they will storm the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja with massive protest in two weeks time.
“Your Excellency Sir, we hereby bring to your notice salient issues bedevilling running of the amnesty programme, which came to a height since last year, and which issues have caused tension and speculations among beneficiaries of the programme.
“As a result, with pains in our hearts we leaders of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta region have decided to present before you what we could term “inhuman treatment” meted out on us by the federal government through the amnesty office, which has already bred tension among us with unfounded allegations against one another,” the letter read in part.
“First and foremost, the deliberate delay or withholding of our monthly stipends since last year is seen as a punitive action by government against us, and which action has prompted allegations from some ex-militants that, we their leaders have connived with the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator of the amnesty programme, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), to divert their money or do business with their money.
“Your Excellency Sir, there is now distrust among us with this unfounded allegation and some ex-militants have already gone on the rampage with some of them venting their anger on oil installations in the region.
“The truth is that our silence over the delay or withholding of our monthly stipends was basically a display of maturity as leaders.
“We want to use this medium to inform them, as well as the whole world, that there is no connivance whatsoever between us and Boroh.
“It is just a fiction in their imaginations.
“We want to say it is rather a deliberate action by federal government to delay payment for whatever reasons known to it.
“Secondly, as the situation has gone out of our control, we leaders of ex-agitators in the region have met and concluded plans to storm Abuja, our nation’s capital, to carry out a peaceful protest over this mistreatment at the expiration of two weeks after publication of this letter in the media.
“Your Excellency sir, we deemed it necessary to notify you of these developments before action should be taken.
“There are a lot other issues to talk about but these immediate ones have to be addressed,” the letter read.
“How can one imagine receiving November 2016 stipend in February 2017?” it queried.
“We hereby notify the Inspector-General of Police, Director of DSS and the Chief of army staff that the protest is solely on mistreatment of amnesty beneficiaries and nothing else.
“We use this medium to also inform Boroh that we have tried our best in calming the situation for this while, but now the issue has gone beyond our control as we are no longer trusted by our fellow ex-agitators because of our silence.
“We have already set the stage on and will troop into the nation’s capital with ten thousand ex-agitators for the peaceful protest. We do not want this issue to further disturb the peace of the region and we say enough is enough,” it concluded.
The letter was signed by Chief Kingsley Muturu (Peace Ambassador), Chief Collins Arigo, H. M. Ebirie, Solo Adu, Abraham Vwaghie, John Aki, Lord Agbuke, Miebi Perede and Godspower Mabiko.
Other signatory to the letter are Blessing Amagben, Abraham Ekokotu, Yinkore Dickson, Bririala Gita, Eddy Otobrise and Edward M. Oghenefejiro.