Suspected Militants and armed cults in Rivers state are surrendering their Guns, Ammunitions and Charms to the Rivers State amnesty committee in exchange for amnesty. Various events in different local government areas of the state were organized by the committee to facilitate public renunciation of the membership of militants and cults group and to renounce violence and criminality in the State.
In various events arranged by the amnesty committee across the state assorted Kinds of fearsome, sophisticated and dangerous weapons were relinquished to the committee. Some of these weapons include Machine and Sub Machine guns, rocket propel launchers, Assault rifles such as AK 47. Also recovered are various thousand rounds of ammunition as well as charms and military uniforms.
The Rivers State Governor Barrister Nyesom Wike had declared amnesty for all Militants group operating in the state in exchange for public renunciation of crime and violence as well as surrendering of weapons in their possession. Such converts are bill to be rehabilitated by the state government on condition that they will not go back to crime.
Since the programme commenced, thousands of militants have come out to boldly say no to violence and criminality and to publicly surrender their weapons. The State Government has promised to rehabilitate, train and empower them.These events have been going on across the length and breadth of the State for the past one month.
Many known and unknown militants have defied the fear and shame to openly give up their weapons to the amnesty committee led by its chairman Mr. ken Chinda. Among the many militants who surrendered their weapons are the Niger Delta volunteer Force led by Mr. George Abe, Junior Viking confraternity (JVC) led by Mr. Omomma, the Iceland Cult operating in Rumuorlumeni community, K12 group led by Mr. Kennedy Ihuwo as well as Deham cult group.
Among the areas visited by the committee to witnessed the renunciation of crime and violence and surrendering of weapons are Bonny Local Government area.
Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State where many of the militants surrendered their sophisticated weapons and charms to the amnesty committee in the presence of various security agencies.
The renunciation of militancy in Gokana was particularly striking considering the fact that the place is very notorious for incessant militant attacks and violence crimes. It is hope that the confession and repentant of those who came out will encourage other reluctant ones to accept the reality and come out so as to be rescued from self-destruction.
Also in Isiokpo, the Headquarters of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state , the amnesty committee harvested a large cache of weapons and ammunitions from militants who came out en masse to embrace peace.
Governor Wike while threatening those militants and cultist who refused to embrace the amnesty programme of the state government declared them enemies of both Rivers State and Nigeria. He revealed that such militants no longer have any hiding place in the state. He promised to smoke them out of the State if they do not retrace their steps and embrace peace.
Governor Wike douse the rumors making rounds that money was exchanged for acceptance of the amnesty programme of the state Government insisting that the renunciation of violence by the militants was voluntary.
According to Governor Wike “ We did not exchange money for the return of arms. It was voluntary. We said, return your arms and denounce any cult group you belong to and we will give you amnesty. All those who have not gone back to crime, be rest assured that nobody will arrest you but if by tomorrow, you return to crime, know that amnesty does not cover you.”
Governor Wike solicited the support of the Federal Government towards sustaining and enhancing the peace which has return to the state as a result of the success of the amnesty programme. He reminded the Federal government of the status of Rivers State being an oil producing State claiming that any disruption of peace in the State will by extension affect the economy of Nigeria.
It is estimated that more than 1000 firearms, over 10,000 ammunitions, and over 200 explosives have been recovered by the committee as it traversed the nook and crannies of the State in search of illegal weapons and ammunitions.