Niger Delta ex-militants threaten war over unpaid benefits

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Members of Niger Delta ISAC Israel Trained Agricultural Group of Nigeria (NDITAGON) have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to direct the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to fulfill its promise to empower them financially after their one-year training in Israel or be ready to face their wrath.

President of the group, Azubuike Chiemeka Emmanuel, who issued the threat on behalf of 98 members of NDITAGON in Abuja, regretted  that they had been sleeping on the streets of Abuja for more than two weeks now due to the failure of the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Darius Ishaku  to attend to them.

The group warned that since their appeals to President Goodluck Jonathan, the National Assembly and other well-meaning Nigerians had failed to produce any result, it would resort to both legal and non-legal actions, including returning to the creeks to seek redress.

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The ex-militants said the ministry gave them $300 each for a training in advanced agriculture in Israel  on May 24, 2013 and promised to financially empower them after their programme.

They, however, said since their return, several attempts they made to get the ministry to fulfill its promise failed to yield any result.

“On the eve of our departure to Israel, the Honourable Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Abuja, Arch. Darius Ishaku openly told us that on arrival from Israel, we would be empowered for immediate establishment of our farm(s) while the Israel partners would arrive as well to provide more technical assistance in our different farms.

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“This was supported by the Permanent Secretary, Directors, and even the staff that were present, as they said we should count urns elves lucky that we are all made are we return from Israel. It is empowerment for life and a millions naira projects for each of us,” he explained.

Speaking further, he said: “On return to Nigeria in June 21, 2014, nobody from the ministry came to receive us at the airport. We lost our cloths, olive oil, money and luggage by Ethiopia airline. The ministry however paid for our accommodations for three days and received us at the ministry.

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“However, behind closed doors, the Minister told us that federal government has not released funds to the ministry to pay us. Since then, we have been running up and down appealing to everyone to intervene on our matter without getting any result.

“We have exercised enough patience including sleeping on the road in Abuja and we cannot no longer continue like this. We don’t want them to push us to the wall again because we can still return to the cricks. Since our demonstration has not yielded any concrete result, we want to give them seven days ultimatum to attend to us or be ready for legal action.

(The Sun)

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