THERE is palpable fear that another season of militancy mess looms in the Southern part of the country as bitterness over some unfulfilled obligations agreed to in the Niger Delta Amnesty Deal reaches the snapping point. National Daily at the weekend authoritatively gathered that members of a former militant group may have resolved to let hell loose over their unpaid allowances.
Ex-militants give Federal Government ultimatum
The group, which is said to be spoiling for a deadly showdown, has given the federal government the end of this month to clear the allowance arrears or risk totally ruining the already epileptic deal. In a threat which may compound the terror siege in the country, the Niger Delta group hinted it could join forces with the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, to press their case.
Ex-president Obasanjo’s peace effort back-lash
The latest mayhem threat in the South came on the heel of former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo supposedly bold peace shuttle to Maiduguri aiming to restore equilibrium as the Boko Haram terror saga threatens to tear the nation apart. But the Obasanjo’s gesture appeared to have unleashed another moment of agony on the family of the slain Boko Haram leader, Yusuf Mohammed. Baba Kura Fugu, the eldest son of Yusuf’s slain father-in-law, Baba Fugu Mohammed, who received the former president when he visited to make peace with the bereaved family was murdered on Saturday by suspected members of the Islamic sect.
Given the development, concern citizens at weekend were quick to caution that the menace in the Northern States, may soon assume a Ã¢â‚¬Å“catastrophic dimension,Ã¢â‚¬Â if the splinter militant groups scattered across the states of the federation should link up.
Threat of more terror
Meanwhile, the Niger Delta former militants warned that it would Ã¢â‚¬Å“join forces with the fundamentalist Muslim sect, Boko Haram.Ã¢â‚¬Â
It has given the Federal Government Ã¢â‚¬Å“up till the end of September to pay them their allowances or face the consequences.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Speaking with National Daily in Yenagoa, one of the retired Generals, Prince Melenge, said Federal Government promised to pay them their allowances by last August after dropping their arms and ammunitions Ã¢â‚¬Å“but refused to honour the agreement.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When we called Kingsley Kuku, the Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Niger Delta affairs, to remind him of the federal government earlier promises of settling them, he told us we can do whatever we like, hence the peaceful demonstration carried out.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He blamed the non-implementation of the third face of the amnesty programme Ã¢â‚¬Å“on Hon. kuku and Gen Azazi Owoye, who is the special Adviser to the president on security matters because the duo sees it as business rather than the genuine intention of the President.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are ready for a total show down with the Federal Government, if they refuse to meet our demand by the end of this month, we will join forces with Boko Haram sects and make this country ungovernable for Mr President.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are going to blow up the Mbiama And Kaiama Bridge that link the East/West road, blow up the Oil installations in Bayelsa state and other parts of Niger Delta and cripple the economy for the federal Government.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Also contributing, one of the retired generals, Gunlift Akpoebi, said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have surrendered the arms since February 5, 2011, according to federal Government directive, to the state police command and certificates were given to us after two months but till date, they have not receive a dime as allowance from federal Government.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Meanwhile, the youth president of Ologbobiri community in southern Ijaw Local Government Council, Chief Solomon Marine, has pleaded with the Federal Government Ã¢â‚¬Å“to listen to the boys and pay them. He however said that Ã¢â‚¬Å“the boys too should listen to Federal Government and avoid violence.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Obasanjo peace initiative
Chief Obasanjo has specifically declared that his visit to Borno State was a personal peace initiative, targeting to secure a possible dialogue with leaders of the Islamic sect.
The former president was received on arrival in Maiduguri last Thursday by the Borno Deputy Governor, Zanna Mustapha.
Since the killing of Yusuf by suspected security agents, some States in the North, including Abuja Ã¢â‚¬Å“have not known peace.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Series of bombings have been unleashed on buildings, resulting in the loss of lives and properties, majorly in Abuja, Maiduguri and Bauchi and adjacent States. There is panic in the polity that any attempt by the Niger Delta former to dump the deal over default in fulfillment of obligations would add to stress of the security agencies still battling to put down the siege of terror.