Ex-militants lay siege to Akwa Ibom Government House

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By; Patrick Titus, Uyo.
Movement to and fro the Akwa Ibom state government house was halted for hours on Tuesday and even today following demonstration by Niger Delta ex-militants who blocked the entrance protesting their non-inclusion in the federal government amnesty programme.
The militants numbering about 200 were among those granted amnesty since 2012, arrived Willington Bassey Way leading to Government House with six Toyota Hiace buses chanting songs and carrying placards with different inscriptions such as “Akwa Ibom State Government give us our rights, other states have received theirs, what happened to our own?”
Our Correspondent in Uyo who monitored the demonstration observed that it took the security operatives drafted to the scene great task to calm the situation as the protesting ex-militants insisted that they won’t leave until Governor Udom Emmanuel come to address their plight.
The leader of the ex-militants in the state, Mr. Ebong Friday said the state government has not included them in the federal government amnesty programme years after they had surrendered their arms and embrace the peace initiative of the federal government.
Friday said that they would not leave the place until Gov. Udom Emmanuel come out to attend to them. “Let the State Government capture our names and send to the Federal Government amnesty programme” he demanded.
According to Mr. Friday, the visit to Government House was the fourth time without government attending to their complaints, having given state government two months to address their grievances.
Addressing the ex-militants, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Murtala Mani, appealed to the ex –agitators to remain calm and be law abiding while pressing for their demands.
Mani said that government would not allow them to suffer after laying down their arms, assuring that he would take their complaints to the governor for action.

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