Some ex-militants in Ondo State have appealed to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to ensure fairness in the distribution of pipeline and waterways surveillance contracts to former militant groups in the state.
The ex-militants, under the aegis of Sea-Wolf Avengers, made the appeal in a statement signed by their leader, Deji Ehinmowo, in Lagos on Sunday.
Mr Ehinmowo expressed displeasure in the alleged lopsidedness in surveillance contracts to ex-militant groups in Ilaje Loca Government area of the state.
He called on the governor to ensure the equitable award of pipeline surveillance contracts to former militant groups in Ilaje.
According to him, this has become imperative to prevent a situation where few will benefit at the expense of the majority.
“The Sea-Wolf Avengers will like to put it on records that our sole aim when we surrendered our guns during the Federal Amnesty programme, coordinated by the Ondo State Government in 2017 in Akure, is to promote peace in Ilaje.
“We promise to continue to abide by the rules and guidelines of the Amnesty Programme,” Mr Ehinmowo said.
According to him, it is no longer news that the pipeline surveillance contract is normally awarded by the Ondo State government to youths in Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Governments as an empowerment programme and to stop youth restiveness in the Niger-Delta region.
He identified eight former militant groups in Ilaje Local Government Area.
“In Ugbo constituency, we have General Otelo Mafimisebi (Jogunomi camp), General Sea-Marco Omoyele(Awaja camp); General Jerry Ekuepenikan(Awama camp); General Igbakele Ayeren(Lion camp) and General Tale Ogede (Black Busy camp).
“While in Mahin/Aheri/Etikan constituency, there is General Deji Ehinmowo(Sea-Woif Avengers camp); General Job(Forest Soldier camp); General Ebie(Niger-Delta Vangard camp) and General Ojo(Big Fish camp),” he said.
Mr Ehinmowo said the Sea-Wolf Avengers, comprising over 205 members that surrendered their guns during the Federal Amnesty programme in 2017, was surprised that the group did not benefit from the recent N28 million pipeline surveillance contract in Ilaje awarded by the state government.
“Our belief is that if any benefit in form of pipeline surveillance to the former militants by the state government is given to Ilaje, it should be shared equally amongst the ex-militant groups rather than given it to only Mafimisebi’s camp,” he stated.
Mr Ehinmowo said the Sea-Wolf Avengers had alerted the state government and security agencies of an alleged plan of encroachment and attack by some groups on its camp in Aboto.
“We learnt that the Mafimisebi group is planning to attack the peace-loving members of the Sea-Wolf Avengers, damage their properties in Aboto as well as use them to generate revenue by force.
“The Sea-Wolf Avengers is appealing to Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, Nigerian Navy Forward Base, Igbokoda and 19 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Okitipupa, for urgent intervention so that it will not degenerate into crisis in the area,” he said. (NAN)
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