Former militants, cultists and kidnappers, numbering about 420, from Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom on Tuesday, embraced the amnesty programme offered by the state government.
The amnesty programme is the latest strategy initiated by the state government to end killings and destruction of property in the areas.
Addressing the repented militants on Tuesday in Uyo, the state Deputy Gov. Mr Moses Ekpo, commended them for renouncing their actions after they surrendered their weapons to the amnesty committee.
The committee is made up of heads of security agencies in the state.
Ekpo said the state government had signed an undertaking on their behalf, to protect them from harassment by security agencies and drawn up a rehabilitation programme that would reform their lives.
He said that with their action, the crisis-ridden and deserted communities would begin to experience a new lease of life.
The deputy governor promised that work would soon begin on projects abandoned by contractors due to insecurity.
“Government is proud that most of you have said you want to live a meaningful life.
“I am glad that some of you say you want to work in the security agencies and want to rise to the level of even a police commissioner.
“Government is happy with you and will give all of you start up skills and education to enable you realise your dreams in life,” Ekpo said.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Samuel Ogunjemilusi, commended the former cultists for their commitment to the restoration of peace in their communities.
He urged them to surrender the remaining weapons in their custody so as not to be tempted to use them to commit crime again.
“The security agencies in the state are committed to the success of the amnesty programme and restoration of lasting peace in the area,’’ Ogunjemilusi said.
He, however, warned that the amnesty would only cover their past and not those crimes committed after the amnesty programme.
One of the leaders of the repentant cultists, Unyime Ibanga, alias Overcomer, thanked the state government and security agencies for the opportunity given them to live normal lives again.
Ibanga pledged the commitment of his members to the restoration of lasting peace in the state.
He said that unfulfilled promises from the government was a reason for their violent actions and called on the state government to keep to its promise of rehabilitating them.
Ibanga said the rehabilitation became necessary so that he and his colleagues would not be tempted to return to crime.
The rehabilitation process for the 264 men who surrendered from Ukanafun Local Government Area has started.
Those from Etim Ekpo Local Government Area will soon begin as soon as their documentation is completed.
Breast Cancer Patients In Ondo State To Benefit From N9.5m Aid
Someindigent breast cancer patients in Ondo state will benefit from the largesse of some Ondo state political appointees who have donated nine and a half million Naira to assist in the cost of their treatment.
Ondo state Governor’s wife, Betty Akeredolu announced the gift during the forum for wives of Ondo state officials summit on Thursday in Akure.
Mrs. Akeredolu said women were very important in nation-building, and that the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria will continue to work to ensure that no woman in the state was killed by the deadly disease.
The nine and a half million Naira donation was raised through auctions.
Nigeria Remains Third Most Terrorized Country In The World
Nigeria still holds the unenviable position as the third most terrorized country in the world.
The 2018 global terrorism index, released on Wednesday, says this is as a result of the spate of terrorism in Nigeria. It also points to what it called the “increase in violence involving Fulani extremists”. The report says this is happening as deaths committed by Boko Haram are falling..
Nigeria is ranked only below Iraq and Afghanistan, both in first and second positions.
This year alone, hundreds of Nigerians have been killed in attacks by suspected herdsmen as well as clashes between the herders and farmers/communities.
States worst hit in the attacks are Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, Taraba and others.
The report also noted that, compared to the peak of “terrorist deaths” in 2014, “the largest falls in the number of deaths occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
First Phase Of Second Niger Bridge To Be Completed By February 2019
By the end of February next year, the Federal Government will be ready to deliver the completed first phase of the second Niger bridge that cost more than 200 billion Naira.
The Bridge is now sixteen percent completed with a total direct Federal Government funding of 33 billion Naira under the presidential infrastructure development fund.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, gave the completion date while updating journalists on the level of work on the bridge so far.
Orji said, when completed, the six lane bridge would ease the transportation gridlock on the Asaba-Onitsha corridor linking the eastern and western parts of the country and beyond.
The bridge will be completed in three phases.
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