Former militants on the platform of the Niger Delta Ex-Agitators Leadership Forum have been invited by the Department of State Services following their threat to stage a protest over what they described as neglect by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs/Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo.
The ex-militants had on November 28, 2018 issued a seven-day ultimatum in a statement signed by some of the leaders, warning that if their grievances were not addressed within the period, crisis could erupt in the Niger Delta area.
In a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the group alleged illicit practices by the administrative leadership of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under Dokubo.
Among the group’s grievances were the refusal of Dokubo to convene an all-inclusive meeting of ex-agitators’ leaders to address issues affecting various states in the region, abandonment of the ex-agitators and lopsidedness in appointment to favour Kalabari people.
The coordinator of the group in Delta State, Awe Awlike, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said they were invited by the DSS after Dokubo submitted a petition to the agency.
He said, “The SA (Dokubo) reported us to the DSS and we were invited to the DSS office in Abuja. We honoured the invitation and made our grievances known to the DSS officials who attended to us. The SA was also invited and we were asked to tell him our agitation which we did. We told him that we have nothing against him or his office in as much as he would listen to us and address our yearnings.
“We agreed to meet again in January, 2019 to deliberate on issues that we have raised. We have also given our word that we will not take any action until the appointed date. We hope that our agitations will be addressed then. We only want what belongs to us as agreed. Even if he cannot take care of all our agitations, let us know what he wants to do and how he plans to do the rest,” Awlike added.