The Cross River State Government has granted amnesty to over 400 ex-members of Bakassi Strike Force from Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Speaking with DAILY POST via phone on Wednesday in Calabar, the State Security Adviser (South), Mr. Ani Esin said the programme was initiated in 2018 when the Bakassi Strike Force was seriously agitating in the high seas of Bakassi and Bakassi Peninsula waters.
He said that the Governor deemed it fit to grant the ex-militants amnesty to enable them to be useful to themselves, the environment and the community at large. Mr. Esin advised them to see this opportunity as a green leaf for them to have a second chance in their life and called on them not to abuse it.
Earlier, at the event that marked the beginning of the second phase of amnesty programme for the current batch of beneficiaries, the State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade pledged to continue to offer amnesty and training to genuine agitators or militants when the need arises.
The Deputy Governor, Prof Ivara Esu who represented the Governor said that the significance of the program was the fact that, the ex-militants are to undergo training in various skills that will equip them for the future.
He expressed the hope that, the successful completion of the training will see the end of militancy in the State, while suing for the cooperation of everyone to achieve the much-desired success in this important undertaking which will usher in peace and economic enhancement of our youths.
The Deputy Governor enjoined all trainees and beneficiaries, of the training programme to take advantage of the programme to transform their lives for the better.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mboto thanked the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade for the programme.
He commended the strike force for coming out and surrendering their arms for the purpose of peace and socio-economic growth in the area. The event was witnessed by Service Commanders of the armed forces and members of the public.
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