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Former Niger Delta militants block East-West road over Amnesty programme

Thousands of commuters plying the East-West road was stranded for hours at the Mbiama-Yenagoa junction, in the early hours of Monday, March 9, 2020, as hundreds of ex-militants from Bayelsa and some parts of Delta State disrupted traffic with barricades chanting war songs.

The militants used tyres, drums and heavy logs of wood to barricade the road, causing serious traffic gridlock on the major highway.

The ex-militants said they are protesting non payment of their stipends for two months.

It was gathered other demands of the militants include: the appointment of a Niger Deltan, especially of an Ijaw extraction as the Presidential Adviser and National Co-ordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to replace the recently sacked former Coordinator, Prof. Charles Dokubo.

They are also demanding that sponsorship of their education, especially outside the country should be continued.

They threatened that they will never accept any imposition of national Coordinator that is not from the Niger Delta.

The ex-militants who threatened to take over the road permanently warned that if the Federal Government fails to meet their demands urgently they will have no option but to go back to the creeks to disrupt crude oil production.

The Leader of the Protesters, Bodmas Michael, who spoke through telephone to a Port Harcourt based Radio station on the reasons for their protest said they want President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately appoint someone to replace Prof. Charles Dokubo and urgently meet their demands.

East-West road is a major trunk. A highway that links all the states in South-South region of Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross-River states.

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