Travellers were held up for hours at the Mbiama axis of the East-West Road, Rivers State, on Monday, following a protest by ex-militant leaders over unpaid five- month stipends by the Amnesty Office.
The angry ex-agitators seized the busy road at about 6:00am in a protest that trapped commuters and drivers heading for Port Harcourt, Rivers and Warri in Delta State.
The ex-agitators displayed placards with inscriptions such as “Buhari, pay us our stipends,” “Don’t politicize Niger Delta Amnesty,” and “Boroh pay us our money.”
They chanted solidarity songs and demanded that the stipends should be paid with immediate effect.
It was learnt that heavily armed soldiers and other security operatives took strategic positions at the scene of the protest to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
It took the intervention of the Commander, Operation Delta Safe (ODS), Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, for the former agitators to open the road to traffic.
Okojie urged the ex-militants to be patient with authorities and assured them that their stipends would be paid.
Reacting to the protest, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Paul Boroh, told the ex-agitators that their delayed stipends would be paid this week.
Boroh in a statement issued by the Bayelsa State Liaison Officer of PAP, Piriye Kiyaramo, lamented the plight of the ex-agitators over the delayed stipends.
He reiterated the federal government’s commitment to reengineering the amnesty programme for the benefits of the ex-militants.
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