- Some ex-militants have stormed the National Assembly to protest alleged non-payment of survival allowances
- The protesters described themselves as shortchanged members of Berebeghan group of the Presidential Amnesty Programme
- Joseph Evah, the leader of the amnesty programme, was accused of diverting monthly allowances meant for the ex-militants into his private pocket
Hundreds of ex-militants in the Niger Delta region purportedly offered amnesty in 2011 by the federal government of Nigeria, on Thursday, June 21, stormed the premises of the National Assembly, protesting over alleged non payment of survival allowances to them.
Vanguard reports that 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.
NAIJ.com gathered that in a statement jointly signed on their behalf by Arerebo Napoleon, Evah Joshua and Erekake Clerk, alleged that instead of being rehabilitated after surrendering their ammunition 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.
According to them, relevant authorities should stop the payment of their N65,000 monthly stipend through Joseph Evah and requested that vocational training should be immediately extended to them.
Consequently, the protesters in their demands, wanted 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.
The statement dated 21st June , 2018 and separately addressed to the Senate president and speaker of the House of Representatives read 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.”
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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that in a bid to achieve peaceful general elections in 2019 and beyond, top leaders of several camps of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta have promised to work with and support the federal government.
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