Militants disturbing the peace of the Niger Delta region have laid down their arms in Rivers state, accepting amnesty on Tuesday, November 15.
This comes exactly on the same day the Niger Delta Avengers claimed responsibility for the attack on three truck lines operated by Agip, Oando and Shell.
The state Governor, Nyesom Wike, who offered amnesty to the militants made it clear that those who rejected the offer have automatically become enemies of the state and called on security operatives to fish them out.
“But to show that Government is serious, I hereby disband all vigilante committees in the various communities. I direct the security agencies to make sure that we don’t have such committees except they profile their members to prove that they don’t belong to any cult groups.
“Initially , people felt it was a political game . I thank God almighty that we have proved our critics wrong that we are serious to ensure the security of lives and property in the state. We cannot say that we can totally eliminate crime, but that you and I can sleep very well today, unlike in the past when cultists and kidnappers had a field day.”
“For those we have given the opportunity, but they refused to embrace amnesty, I direct the security agencies to go after them. The time for amnesty is over and we are going to take the war to them.
“Since we have given you the opportunity and you have refused to surrender, you have become enemies of the state and the state will fight to the last to make sure that criminality is reduced to the barest minimum, so that investors will continue to have confidence to invest their funds in this state.
“To tell politicians that you must not politicize crime. If anybody is involved in crime, we must not reduce it to party politics. When somebody is a cultist, don’t say that that person belongs to party A, that is not fair. We have to fight crime. We have to join hands to bring lasting peace to this state.”
He stated that money was not given to the militants in exchange for their arms, adding that they surrendered of their own volition.
“We did not exchange money for the return of arms. It was voluntary. We said, return your arms and denounce any cult group you belong to and we will give you amnesty. All those who have not gone back to crime, be rest assured that nobody will arrest you. But if by tomorrow, you return to crime, know that amnesty does not cover you.
Read More: Promoters Of MMM In Trouble As EFCC Steps In
“I urge the Federal Government to give us the support we require for peace to reign in this state. Rivers State is the Treasure Base of this nation. If there is crisis in Rivers State, it will affect Nigeria and so for us as a government, we will continue to partner with Federal Government to achieve zero tolerance to crime. We will not support crime. It doesn’t matter the political divide. If you are involved, you will face the law.”
According to reports, the state recovered 911 arms, 7661 assorted ammunition and 147 explosives.
See pictures below: