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Soldiers foil ex-militants’ protest, FG begins payment today


Soldiers on Sunday foiled a protest by ex-militants under the presidential amnesty programme in Warri and Effurun, Delta State.

The protest, it was learnt, was in connection with delayed payment of their monthly stipends,

Our correspondents gathered that the ex-militants drawn from phase 1 and 2 of the amnesty programme had not received their stipends for three months.

The presence of soldiers allegedly from the Third Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Effurun, at strategic positions in Warri, Effurun and their environs, prevented the ex-warlords from carrying out the protest.

It was gathered that the soldiers acted on an intelligence report.

Our correspondent, who monitored the development, observed presence of soldiers at the DSC roundabout connecting the Ughelli section of the East-West road where the former agitators had planned to carry out the protest.

Their presence where also observed at the popular Effurun roundabout, PTI Junction, Udu Express junction, Enerhen Junction and Jakpa junction all in Uvwie Local Government Area of the state.

 A senior military officer from the Effurun Barracks, who craved anonymity, confirmed the incident.

He noted that the ex-militants had planned to cause havoc during the protest.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government says it will continue the payment of stipends to ex-militants as from Monday (today).

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta/Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (retd), who stated this on Sunday, noted that the agency was already addressing the hiccups in the payment.

 A statement by the Head, Media and Communication Department of the Presidential Amnesty Office, Abuja, Piriye Kiyaramo, urged the repentant militants to be patience with the organisation.

 The statement quoted the amnesty boss saying, “President Muhammadu Buhari attaches so much importance to the amnesty programme, which explains why the President in his inaugural address to the nation promised to invest in the projects and programmes currently in place for the ex-agitators in the region.

 “The President is already putting together a youth development and empowerment package that would directly impact the ex-agitators and other youths in the region.”

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