By Tope Fayehun
Trouble is brewing in the riverine community of Bolowou, Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State following the alleged non payment of the N65,000 monthly Amnesty stipend to at least twenty five beneficiaries of the scheme.
The victims have alleged the former western fringe commander of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Mr Bibopere Ajube, alias General Shoot at Sight, as the mastermind of the stoppage of their allowances.
They said Ajube was punishing them over their refusal to support the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in the November 26 governorship election in Ondo state.
Ajube, a PDP chieftain, who was said to have donated handsomely to his party in the last governorship election in the state, also bought a bullet proof GMG Jeep to the party’s governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede for his campaigns.
The affected twenty five beneficiaries in a jointly signed statement therefore threatened to embark on a peaceful protest on Wednesday this week at Bolowou if their allowances remained unpaid before then.
They said Ajube delisted their names at the Amnesty Office, Abuja with the active collaboration of the cordinator, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd).
“We are worried and constrained to alert the nation that a former MEND commander, Bibopere Ajube, aka General Shoot at Sight has stopped the payment of our N65,000 monthly stipends with the collaborating of the programme’s ccordinator, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd).
“All other beneficiaries of the programme have been paid last week, but to our surprise, ours was not and we were informed by competent sources at the Amnesty Office that Ajube went to coordinator to delist us from the programme and has already replaced us with persons who were not even captured in the programme.
“From all indications, our ordeal is not unconnected with our refusal to support his preferred governorship candidate in the last election in Ondo state, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, SAN. Since the election, Ajube has threatened to deal with all those who worked for the APC candidate and now governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
“Ajube has carried out this threat to the extent that he has barred operatives of his security outfit, Gallery and their relatives from attending the community ‘s only church on the ground that the spiritual leader, Most Rev Epistle Jemine did not also support Jegede. That is why most of us whose stipends he has stopped are either family members of the spiritual leader or those related to the immediate past chairman of Ese-Odo Local Government Area, Hon Akpoebi Lubi.
“Therefore, we give a notice of forty eight hours to all security agencies to prevail on the relevant authorities, especially the Amnesty Office to pay our legitimate stipends failure which we shall embark on a ceaseless peaceful demonstration at Bolowou until our demand is met.
Some of the affected victims and their bank details include:LUBI TIMIAKIRIMINI..A/c No 5272015063.Eco Bank:Code C01/B05/A4/06744:,LUBI MANPASSMAN:A/C:5272017586..Eco Bank:Code:C01/B05/A4/06/06736: ,JEMINE WARIEBI..A/c No 5272013636..Eco Bank:Code C01/B06/B2/08063., JEMINE KIMIEGBE:A/C:5272011735.Eco Bank:CODE:C02/B07/D5/09786:, JEMINE INIEBIDI:A/C:5272014891:CODE: C01/B06/B2/08060:,JEMINE HOSSANAH VICTOR:A/C:5272013052.Ecobank: ,AMULUKU BIKUMOH:A/C:5272011711 Eco Bank:,AMULUKU ILAYEKEKE:A/C:5272016376 Eco Bank:,AMULUKU JOHN:A/C:5272011649 and ITANI OLAOLUWA:A/C:52720141, Ecobank.
When contacted, Lubi, who is a former member of the House of Assembly said he was surprised at the development.
According to him, “I received several reports on the matter but I don’t want to believe Ajube can go to that length simply because of politics.
“Amnesty is politics and as such any one who initiates or even supports such moves to punish youths who expressed their preference for someone other than an individual’s preferred choice is setting a dangerous precedence that can create tension in the riverine area.
“I still want to give him the benefit of doubt because even though he worked for Jegede and I worked for Akeredolu, we were friendly on the day of the election at Bolowou,we went round the entire community on the election day, and the fact that he is still working round the clock to retain his security consultancy is a pointer that he deserves the benefit of doubt but we shall find out what has gone wrong”.
In his reaction, the former western fringe commander of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Bibopere Ajube, alias General Shoot at Sight, said he removed their names because they are not entitled to collect the money abinitio.
Ajube who said, he removed their names from amnesty office so as to pave ways for others who are yet to benefit anything from the amnesty, noted that it was a matter of APC or PDP.
His words :”Since they have been collecting the money, do they evEric informed you?. Ask them where do they drop their guns?. Am the one that do amnesty for Ondo State and I did it for 750 people and I know the people that joined me to do it .When they have been collecting the money before, do they informed you then?.
“I removed their names from amnesty office because another people need to benefit. It is not APC and PDP matter. They should not turn it to party matter.Ondo State is my own state and what I can do for my state is make that peace reign in the state.
“I don’t have any grudges with APC.All APC people are my friend .Even the governor is my friend.Let me tell you, I do a security job and you must stay loyal to the government on ground . The former government have gone and I am 100 percent loyal to the present government in the state. Tell those who gave you the story wether they joined me by the time we dropped guns.”