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2,000 Bakassi militants surrender in Calabar

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By Emma Una

CALABAR — TWO thousand members of Bakassi Strike Force led by Benjamin Ene, yesterday, surrendered a cache of arms and ammunition to Operation Delta Safe, bringing to an end five years of militancy in Bakassi Peninsula and surrounding creeks.

The event, which took place at the Bakassi Local Government Council secretariat at Ikang was witnessed by a crowd comprising those sympathetic to their cause and those who were victims of the struggle.

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Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Ben Ayade said militancy at the Bakassi was the outcome of the ceding of the peninsula by the Nigerian government without consulting the people,  approval of the National Assembly and without making provision for the welfare of the people whose ancestral homes were handed over to Cameroon in compliance with the  World Court ruling at The Hague.

“For a young man to see his ancestral home being given away with all its resources leading to untold suffering without corresponding action from government to ameliorate the hardship and all opportunity for negotiation closed, the next thing is resort to  struggle and violence,” he said.

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Ayade who thanked the Federal Government for facilitating the amnesty for the militants said the state should be assisted to provide the needed rehabilitation and provision for the ex-combatants, stressing that the state would do all it could to keep to the terms of the Memorandum of Understating, MoU,  with the militants before their surrender.

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