Wanted former militant leader in the Niger Delta, Solomon Ndigbara, a.k.a. Osama Bin Laden, has declared his readiness to work for peace in the area. Ndigbara who spoke with our correspondent on phone from his hideout, said he was ready to work with security agencies in the state to ensure a lasting peace on the condition that he is no more declared wanted by the security agencies, especially the military.
He denied being a cultist and challenged his accusers to mention the cult gang he belongs. He said having been invited to be part of the Rivers State amnesty programme, it should be clear to all that it was the politicians who instigated the federal government to declare him wanted.
He also insisted that no lasting peace will come to Ogoniland due to the insincerity in the quality and quantity of guns being submitted by the combatants.
Ndigbara pointed out that for sincerity to be demonstrated in the programme, all those carrying illegal arms and their ‘godfathers’ must take oath before surrendering their arms.
He dismissed as laughable the type of weapons surrendered by cultists and kidnappers in Bori, Khana local government area of Ogoniland to the state amnesty committee.
The ex-militant leader said that the fresh amnesty window offered cultists and criminal gangs terrorising Ogoniland by Governor Nyesom Wike, though a welcome development, is doomed to fail because the quality and quantity of arms submitted in public by criminal gangs are a far cry from the actual weapons used in carrying out criminal activities in Ogoniland.
He advised security operatives to ensure that those granted amnesty submit all their weapons for a lasting peace in the area.
According to Ndigbara: “The guns I saw that were submitted are nonsense. Those are not the guns they used to terrorize Ogoniland. And I asked that if the state government needs me to say something, I don’t play pranks, let them be sincere. They have done a lot of things to Ogoni people and they have given the Ogonis sleepless nights.
“If security agents are ready to do the right thing so that peace will reign in Ogoniland, they should contact me and I will help them to know the truth”.
Chairman of the Rivers State Amnesty Programme Committee, Mr Ken Chinda, who was also not satisfied with the quality and quantity of arms submitted on Friday warned that those still bearing arms will have themselves to blame as security agencies will go after them.
Speaking in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of the state, Mr Chinda said that the essence of the programme was to stop the unnecessary carnage in the state.
He cautioned those that had publicly renounced cultism not to go back to crime, as those caught commiting crime would not be protected from prosecution by the amnesty offered them.
The amnesty committee boss said that the government would not hesitate to go after any cultists that failed to key into the amnesty programme.
Eight AK 47 rifles, 445 rounds of ammunition, two G3 rifles were among weapons surrendered by the repentant brigands.
The first phase of the amnesty programme in the area collapsed due to insincerity by criminal gangs.