…Seeks Inter-States Security Cooperation
By Etop Ekanem
Acting Governor, Deacon Kingsley Burutu Otuaro says reason he, on behalf of Delta State Government, spearheaded recent rescue of 6 students of Igbonla Model College, Epe, Lagos State, from kidnappers was the need for inter-states security cooperation, especially among adjoining Niger Delta/Coastal states.
Otuaro explained this in a goodwill message at Akure, Ondo State where Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Thursday (November 9, 2017), admonished militants in Ese-Odo and Ilaje local areas of the state to drop arms, during the “official proclamation of Amnesty for Armed youths in the Niger Delta area of Ondo State”.
Governor Akeredolu, who thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for the offer, said the militants had 21 days to drop arms in their possession to 5 collection centres namely Gbekebo, Arogbo, Ugbonla, Ajapa and Gbokoda and get recorded to benefit from rehabilitation programmes to make them useful members of society. The Presidential Amnesty Office led by Brig-Gen Paul Boroh (rtd) was represented in the colourful occasion held at the International Centre for Culture and Events, Akure, Ondo State.
Asserting that Awolowo’s free education was successful on a tax regime to which the people cooperated for development, Governor Akeredolu appealed to all stakeholders in Ondo State to cooperate in peace efforts, noting: “The wealth of Ondo State lies with you”.
Noting that the Niger Delta, indeed Nigeria, cannot afford continued crisis in the oil sector, Governor Akeredolu commended the Delta State Acting Governor, Otuaro, who he said was already deep in efforts to avert Niger Delta Avengers’ plan to cripple oil installations and the economy. With peace in Ondo State, Governor Akeredolu hoped efforts to bring in Oil companies and other investments for the economic boom of the state, will succeed.
Otuaro, speaking after Alfred Agboola Ajayi, the Ondo State Deputy Governor thanked him for the recent rescue of 6 Igbonla Model College students and his contributions to the Amnesty offer for the state, said: “There is no thick line separating the Niger Delta/Coastal States. Insecurity in one state consequently leads to insecurity in the other states and there can be no development without peace. There is therefore great need for collaboration and partnership in matters of security among the states of the coastal/Niger Delta area. I thank God for the amnesty offer and urge the militants to take advantage of it to turn a new leaf”.
Earlier, Ajayi who is also chairman of the amnesty process in Ondo state, lamented that the end of inter-ethnic war between the Ilaje and Ijaw of Ondo State over a decade ago, still sustained flow of arms in the hands of combatants who later turned same against the people. The security situation, Ajayi said, came to a head with the recent kidnap to Ondo creeks of the 6 students of Igbonla Model College, Lagos State. He added that earlier amnesty offers in the state had been apparently politicised leaving behind a lot of militants who turned a huge security challenge inherited by Governor Akeredolu.
Ajayi, who pleaded with militants to embrace the offer for peace and for the state to return to its old glory, announced contact telephone numbers for the various areas covered by the offer for the disarmament exercise: 08056440565 (for Ilaje area), 08056440510 (for Arogbo-Ijaw area) 08056440602 (for Apoi area).