Ex-Niger Delta militants threaten to sue Nigerian government over ‘benefits’

Some ex-militants in Ilaje LGA of Ondo state have threatened to sue the federal government over unpaid benefits.

The amnesty programme was established in 2009 by the federal government during the tenure of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and it was focused on the disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) of ex-militants in the Niger Delta.

In a letter signed by Deji Ehinmowo, leader of the group, and addressed to the federal and Ondo state governments, the former militants, claimed that their monthly allowances had not been paid for two years by the presidential committee on amnesty programme.

They threatened court action if the benefits were not paid within 30 days.

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“Building on the initial invitation to the presidential amnesty programme, you will recall that the 204 persons, whose names are annexed, were under the Mr Deji Ehinmowo’s wing in 2017 presidential programme conducted in Ondo state by the federal government,” the letter reads

“The exercise was jointly conducted with the Ondo state through the amnesty committee headed by the deputy governor of Ondo state, Agboola Ajayi, in collaboration with the Navy with other security agencies in attendance.

“As you are aware, the process of the presidential amnesty is a reflection in Nigeria of the United Nation’s prescribed process of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration adopted by the Nigerian government.

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“However, we are saddened and disturbed by the fact that the demobilization and reintegration phase of the programme which entails the repurchase of arms, vocational training, educational pursuits and monthly benefits for the disarmed youths have been abandoned after two years when government engaged us.

“We strongly demand the full payment of our monthly benefits and arrears of same as well as the completion of other phases of the programme.”

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