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Bakassi ex-militants accuse FG, others of breaching peace pact

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The seven months old Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the federal government, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states on one hand and the Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) on the other is heading for the rocks.

Already, some of the camps vacated by the BSF militants have been taken over by some groups that reportedly cause trouble on the waterways and the Gulf of Guinea, threatening businesses.

In a statement in Calabar, Cross River State, the former BSF leader, Mr. Ene Effiom, thanked the state government and others for making the amnesty programme possible, but said, “the ex-Bakassi Strike Force, after disarmament, has been neglected by the federal government, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states as it relates to the re-integration and useful engagement of the boys” as contained in the MoU.

He said: “There has been severe breach of the MoU and certain promises, as the government has not kept to its terms. Since we left the creeks, the place has been exposed to all forms of criminal activities.

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“While we remain here waiting for our re-integration, which has not come forth, may I declare that my boys and I have nothing to do in the creeks any longer; so anybody caught should be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

He called for governments’ intervention in the amnesty programme in the interest of security and peace.

“My boys have accused me of betraying them, that I have collected money from the Cross River State government and decided to abandon them. But that is not true. The same way I am looking up to government is the same way they (the boys) are looking up to me. This matter has to do with security, and the government is playing with it.

“We are aware that Akwa Ibom State government released N200 million for the boys, but some elements in the government have decided to sit on the money, blocking all avenues of the state government talking to us and reintegrating the Akwa Ibomites in the struggle.”

Cross River governor, Ben Ayade, while receiving the Commander of the joint military taskforce, Operation Delta Safe (ODS), Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade, on Tuesday, had deplored the refusal by the federal government to admit members of the BSF into its amnesty programme after he facilitated their surrender of arms to the military.


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