Over 5000 militants surrender in Imo State
The epic event, which attracted all the traditional rulers in the state and other stakeholders, saw the militants confess to various killings and bombing of oil installations in the state.
Governor Okorocha had earlier instituted the Disarmament Committee following series of disturbances in the oil-rich communities of Ohaji/Egbema which involved killing, kidnapping, cult activities, armed robbery and militancy.
The State Deputy Chief of Staff, Engr. Kingsley Uju, who headed the committee, disclosed that the committee, on the advice of the state governor, Rochas Okorocha, had setup the committee to resolve the crisis in the restive area.
The militants, led by their leaders confessed and renounced militancy and other crimes perpetrated by the group.
One of the leaders, Jibaa Chikere, popularly known as “Banga”, in his confession said that his group, the Niger Red Squad had blown up pipelines belonging to over five oil companies among other nine companies in the area.
According to Banga “We have killed ourselves in our community for the sake of oil companies that has neglected us; we submitted our weapon in 2011 and nothing had happened since then, but since the governor has pardoned us today, we will stop the killing and embrace peace.”
Another leader of the group, Modestus Gift popularly known as “No Mercy”, while surrendering his arms, said that his group had taken up arms because the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and oil companies in the area had abandoned them, leaving them without power and good roads.
He further revealed that his group was threatening to blow up another pipeline in the state before they succumbed to the disarmament committee setup by Governor Okorocha. Another cult leader also present is named Abaziem Obioma popularly known as “Motor”.
Governor Okorocha, while granting a state pardon to the militants, urged them to embrace the peace move initiated by the state government and completely abstain from crime.
The militants swore an oath performed by the State Attorney-General, Barr. Miletus Nlemedum before the presence of the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, Commander 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Brig.-Gen. Kay Ishaku and other sister security agencies in the state.