More militants and cult groups in Rivers State have reiterated their resolve not to be railroaded into accepting the amnesty offered by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.
At the weekend, two groups, Egi Freedom Fighters in the Ogba Egbema Ndoni local government area and the Kalar Bomber in Ikwerre local government area, declined to embrace the amnesty offered by the state government.
Egi Freedom Fighters insisted that it would not join the state amnesty until their demands are meant.
Their spokesperson, Jennifer Black, in a statement, insisted they are not a criminal gang and does not indulge in criminal activities.
Black however said his group resorted to armed struggle as a way of drawing the attention of government and other stakeholders to the age-long oppression, intimidation and injustice against the people of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government area.
She said the group demanded rebuilding of all houses damaged in Egi communities by alleged security forces sent by some companies in the area and release of all arrested during the raid of Egi community.
One of the militant leaders from Ahoada East Local government area of the state, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent on phone that one of their strong leaders in the area who declined to submit his arms after several pleas was recently murdered.
The militant, who claimed to be speaking with our correspondent from his hideout, said some members of his group in the arean rejected the amnesty offer.
He noted that the remains of the assassinated militant thrown into the bush has been recovered and buried with the assistance of group members loyal to him.
Another group, Kalar Bombers, said the refusal to accept the amnesty programme was because the state government did not enter into agreement with them.
The leader of the camp, who simply gave his name as Machete, claimed that the ammunition in his camp alone is worth more than N500million, adding that his group will not accept to submit that kind of assets providing food to them just because of state amnesty.
He said: “We don’t want what happened at the Federal Government amnesty to repeat again.
“We are very careful; we need three times of the amount of the ammunition in our camp.
“The ammunitions in our custody are the source of our daily bread. So, if the government is sincere they should invite us.”
When contacted, chairman of the State Amnesty Programme, Sir Kenneth Chinda, said the position of the militants was not a collective decision of Egi people.
Chinda, who is also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Amnesty Matters, explained that activities were in top gear to receive repentant militants in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local government area and other LGA.
“I know too well that it is not a collective decision of all Egi people. I am in Omoku (in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni) and we have mounted a pavilion for the retrieval of arms and ammunition.
“We have reached out to the other community and we are mobilising them for the event.”