Niger Delta Ex-militants Take Over Road In Protest
Man-hours were lost to the activities of some former militants in Niger Delta area of Nigeria where the black gold ferries revenue into the Nigerian government's coffers.
That revenue may be under threat, as the aggrieved ex-militants plan to go back to the creeks and transfer aggression on the nation's pipelines.
On Monday, people travelling through the East-West Road were trapped in traffic.
Those heading to Port Harcourt through Bayelsa, some others heading to Delta State and then Imo States also suffered the same fate, as the protesting militants placed tables and benches on the road stopping movement completely.
Some had placards with different inscriptions: "Pay our stipend; Buhari look into our matter; Amnesty office pay us;" among others, Niger Delta ex militants barricaded the East-West Road.
Gradually, traffic began to build, as they forced more vehicles to park.
Their leader was General Cairo - an ex-agitator - and as the protest gathered momentum, the Chairman of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Tare Porri, arrived at the scene.
He was there to beg the protesters to allow vehicular movement.
But General Cairo reminded him that they were protesting over non-payment and inclusion of their stipend by the present administration after they had surrendered their arms.
He further revealed that he had suffered in different detention facilities for four years in return and that their plea had not been attended to.
"We have protested and even written to the National Assembly and the Amnesty office.
"Till date, we have not received any response," he told Mr Porri.
An agitator Michael Egberi, told Bounce News that he was a student of Niger Delta University (NDU) and he needs the stipend to augment his fees.
"That stipend means a lot to me," he said.
Another protester, Gift Etete, said his stipend, when paid, would be used to boost his wife's business while he would engage in other forms of hustle, without listing them.
"I have three sons and want the best for them. Amnesty should pay us because we have been peaceful all these while," he added.
One of the travelers in a commercial bus, Miss Akparu Ebibo, expressed disappointment over the attitude of the protesters.
"I was on my way to Onitsha market before we ran into these protesters.
"When next they want to protest, they should announce it over the radio, so that we can prepare ourselves.
"It's not good like this, travellers don't owe them anything," she emphasised.
After he succeeded in calming the protesters down, Mr Porri called for calm and promised them that he would get in touch with the Amnesty office and give them feedback.
After much plea, they agreed to leave the road, but threatened to return to the road and then the creek should the Amnesty office fail to meet their request.
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