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Ex-Militant Leaders, Police Intensify Search To Apprehend Fleeing Militants

As the search  for the fleeing militants who killed twelve policemen at Azuzuama community of Bayelsa state continue to spread to neighbouring  Delta state, ex-militant leaders in Niger Delta under the aegis of the CONCERNED AGITATORS have condemned the killing of 12 policemen in Bayelsa State and have promised to bring those who perpetrated the dastardly act to book.

In an online message to newsmen, spokesperson for the group Comrade Azizi stated that ex-militant leaders have extended the search for the fleeing militants outside Bayelsa State as information gathered reveals that the culprits may have relocated to the creeks of Delta state.

The ex-militant leaders who have since beefed up security around themselves said the killings should not be linked to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

Also Speaking in Yenagoa, President of the coalition of ex-militant leaders for peace under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI), Pastor Reuben Wilson, said the killing of the policemen was a dastardly act and should be condemned in its totality.

Wilson, who said the lives of ex-militant leaders in the region were in danger urged Nigerians to disregard the claims that the attack was coordinated by MEND. “Our lives are in danger when visiting our areas. Anything can still happen to another leader.

But I don’t think I have any problem with my boys. We that are freedom fighters in Bayelsa are saddened that such incident happened in Bayelsa State. We want to state that the purported MEND claim is false. MEND is not involved and the Amnesty Office is not involved. This is pure misunderstanding between a leader and his boys. The killing is an attempt to rubbish the amnesty programme of the Federal Government.

“For the leaders, I want them to reach out to their boys. Most of the leaders should talk to their boys and let them know what is happening. At times, the leaders provoke these boys into violence by abandoning them. They should interact and have regular meetings with these boys because they know their capabilities and strength in the handling of weapons.”

Meanwhile, Dickson had vowed that his government would ensure that those behind the killings were arrested. Dickson, speaking in Yenagoa said government would do everything possible to bring the culprits to book, emphasising that steps were already being taken to comb the nooks and crannies of the state to apprehend them. He declared that government would not fold its arms and watch people take the law into their hands for whatever reason.

Dickson stated that government would not relent until acts of criminality and lawlessness were completely eliminated in the state. “We will not rest on our oars and we will make the environment very, very uncomfortable for criminals and perpetrators of other related offences to operate.

“For the umpteenth time, government is warning our youths and their collaborators, who take delight in kidnapping, maiming and taking the lives of innocent and law-abiding citizens to turn a new leaf or have themselves to blame because nobody will be spared.”

In another development, the Bayelsa Police Command through directives from the office of the InspectorGeneral of Police have promised to do everything possible within its power to bring the perpetrators to book.

This is coming just as the IGP said the police had devised a new order of operations to reduce the fatalities and daily attacks on policemen on duty.

Abubakar, who gave the order after a meeting with the police management team, said hunting down the killers was the best posthumous honour that could be given to the deceased police officers. He said the police would stop at nothing to ensure the killers were brought to book in the shortest possible time.

The IGP, who spoke through the Deputy Force Relations Officer, Frank Mba, described the brutal killing of the policemen as a sad reminder of the dangers faced by policemen while on national duty, especially at this period when the country was passing through its most challenging period.

He said, “the death of the 12 police officers on legitimate national assignment is sad, unfortunate and the police will stop at nothing to ensure that the killers are brought to book as soon as possible.”

According to him, the only thing  the police can do to the fallen heroes is toget and   prosecute the fleeing militants in other to serve as a deterrent to others.

Additional Reports filed in By Dele Fasan (Delta State Correspondent)

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