Two new militant groups in Rivers state have said that they do not want to be part of Governor Nyesom Wike’s amnesty programme. The groups, Egi Freedom Fighters in the Ogba Egbema Ndoni local government area and the Kalar Bomber in Ikwerre local government area remained adamant that until their demands are met, they would not laid down their arms.
Egi Freedom Fighters’ spokesperson Jennifer Black insisted in a statement that the group is not a criminal gang and does not indulge in criminal activities but resorted to armed struggle to draw attention to the age-long oppression, intimidation and injustice against the people of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government area. She said the group wants all houses damaged in Egi communities by alleged security forces sent by some companies in the area to be rebuilt and all arrested during the raid of Egi community be released.
Leader of Kalar Bombers, Machete said his group the government did not approach them directly and they cannot give up their ammunition reprtedly worth more than N500million for just some food by the state amnesty programme.
He said: “We don’t want what happened at the Federal Government amnesty to repeat again.
“We are very careful; we need three times of the amount of the ammunition in our camp. “The ammunitions in our custody are the source of our daily bread. So, if the government is sincere they should invite us.” Meanwhile, the bombing of oil and gas pipeline by militants in the Niger Delta region is resulting in health problems for people in the region especially women. Oil spillage of Bodo, Bomu, Kpe, B-Dere and K-Dere and other Ogoni communities in Gokana local government in Rivers state has resulted in women giving birth to abnormal babies. Although oil spill due to oil exploration has always been in a problem, the degree of the exposure to hazard has multiply due multiple bombing of pipelines by militants.