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Thursday, 21 June 2018

Amnesty: 'We Are Being Shortchanged ' - Ex - Militants Cry out 

Scores of ex- militants in the Niger Delta region purportedly offered amnesty in 2011 by the federal government of Nigeria stormed the premises of the National Assembly today in protest  over alleged non payment of survival allowances to them.

The protesters who described themselves as shortchanged members of Berebeghan Group of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under the leadership of Joseph Evah, accused Evah of diverting monthly  allowances meant for them into his private pocket.

The ex-militants in a statement jointly signed on their behalf  by Arerebo Napoleon, Evah Joshua and Erekake Clerk, said instead of being rehabilitated after surrendering their ammunitions against oil pipeline vandalism in 2011, they have been wallowing in abject poverty due to diversion of their survival allowances and denial of any vocational /formal educational training.

They consequently called on relevant authorities to stop payment of their N65,000 monthly stipend through Joseph Evah and requested that  vocational trainings should be immediately extended to them.

The statement dated 21st June, 2018 and separately addressed to the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives reads in part: " ...Instead of being rehabilited, we are rather wallowing in abject poverty, the reason is because our leader, Mr Joseph Evah decided to divert our monthly stipend for his personal use.

" The Federal Government stipulated that each member of the presidential amnesty programme is entitled to N65,000 monthly stipend which must be paid directly into beneficiaries account and either vocational or formal education be given to us accordingly.

" But Mr Joseph Evah deceived us into opening accounts with Eco Bank PLC where he has an insider collaborator cutting our monies to N30 or N20,000 on monthly basis and even some denied any payment ever since ".

Consequently, the protesters in their demands, want such payments to be made into their other bank accounts directly, authentic vocational training /formal education to be given to them and severance of any further dealings with Joseph Evah.

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