Ex-militants, who before now operated under the name ‘Bakassi Strike Force,’ Monday, baricaded Gov Ben Ayade’s office, demanding payment of their unpaid allowances.They threatened to pull down the main gate of the Governor’s Office. Dressed in black, and led by one ‘Tomaya, the ex-militants caused a severe traffic hold up along the ever busy Leopard Town/Diamond Hill where the Governor’s Office is located.
Timaya told journalists that they were protesting the non-payment of their allowances which was supposed to have been paid since December 2018 but which has not been paid till date.
“We are not going anywhere until the governor settles us. Since 2018 the governor has reneged on agreement. After we laid down our arms in December 2018, we went for training and the governor promised that we were going to be given starter packs and be integrated into the system.
“Instead of fulfilling his promise, the governor went and put up a sign-post in Bakassi to say he has paid us. He has since refused to attend to us and we are very angry,” he stated.
Addressing the rampaging former Bakassi fighters, the permanent secretary in the Governor’s Office, Dr.Alfred Mboto, pleaded with them to allow government sort out their grievances.
After more than four hours of unsuccessful appeal to the ex-militants, Mboto sourced for N500,000 and gave them. But they insisted they were not going to collect it.
Argument ensued which got Mboto angry and he left, only for some of the militants to hit severally at the gate with the Police as bystanders. However, some of the ex-militants intervened and pleaded with their more vociferous colleagues to “stay action.”
Meanwhile Mboto had told the protesting ex-militants that the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, was working on their case and would call for a meeting with their leaders.