Hundreds of Don Waney’s fighters have finally surrendered their arms after they rejected government’s earlier overtures to do so.
The fighters surrendered their arms, including explosives, rocket launchers and high-caliber rifles like AK47 at Heroes Square, Owerri, Imo State on Monday.
A statement signed by Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Sam Onwuemeodo, said Governor Rochas Okorocha told newsmen who met with him at the Government House that he had been busy with several phone calls about the success story that the followers of Don Waney had agreed to handover their arms. He described the development as a healthy one since it is believed that it would ensure lasting peace in the oil producing areas of the state.
The governor remarked that “it is shocking to note that most of the activists of the Avengers and those of Don Waney operatives are our sons and daughters from the militancy business. Their surrendering arms will end the security challenges we have in Ohaji/Egbema, Awara and the rest of the areas where people have been on self-exile for many years.
“Today, we are welcoming back our brothers and sisters who have remained in the creeks and forest for so many years perpetuating all kinds of evil, killing and maiming human beings. But today, glory to God, these our children have decided, on their own, to come back and be part of the society. They are doing so on their own, surrendering arms which they have used in committing criminal activities for what they called expression of grievances of different sorts.
“We, as a government are happy, particularly, that these young boys and girls will now come back as good citizens of Imo State. We are here to receive and listen to them. What they say today will determine the role of government in assisting them and making sure they become good citizens once more. It is the wish of the Niger Delta people to welcome you back as good citizens.
“Recall that three weeks ago, the notorious kingpin, Don Waney, was killed and most of these boys are his colleagues and generals in the bush. Today, we are gladdened that the lives of these boys have not been left in the hands of the military and police who would have wasted them; but, today they are being reintegrated into our society to become good citizens.”
He continued: “We, as a government that is sensitive to the plights of the people, are here to intervene before the matter gets out of hand. Last year and last two years we did similar exercises and most of those youths are now doing well. We want to remove terror from Ohaji/Egbema.” The Sun