Niger Delta militant group, Bakassi Strike Force, surrenders arms

A group in the Niger Delta region, Bakassi Strike Force(BSF), has surrendered part of its arms as an indication to lay down their arms if the Federal Government addressed their concerns.

Lieutenant-Cololonel Olaolu Daudu, the spokesman of Joint Military Force in the Niger Delta, confirmed the development in a statement issued and made available to Nigerian Tribune in Yenagoa.

Daudu said  the terms of the disarmament were being worked out by the Cross River command of Department of State Security Services and Cross River government.

He said the militant group had turned in one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and an AK 47 rifle as a show of good faith towards the peace deal.

“Available information from Sector 4 in Cross River State indicates that Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) militants led by one Mr Benjamin Ene, have expressed unreserved willingness to lay down their arms.

“They have contacted the Department of State Service in Cross River State, through the state government’s appointed rapporteur on amnesty to signify their readiness to hold talks on amnesty with the relevant authorities.

“To buttress this demonstration of goodwill, BSF turned in one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and an AK 47 rifle.

“The Department of  State Service representatives and representatives of rapporteur have since recovered the arms as talks are ongoing on modalities to surrender their remaining arms,” Daudu said.

It will be recalled that leader of the group, Mr Benjamin Ene, aka ‘Humble Lion G1’ had on November 1, expressed the desire to surrender in a video message where he listed conditions for surrendering his stockpiled  ammunition..

Ene said the group was not out to vandalise national assets but for the well-being of his people who resided in Bakassi, now ceded to Cameroon.

The leader, who spoke from his camp in the creeks of southern Cross River, said  unlike other militant groups, it had no record of oil installation destruction or molestation of the citizens.

Daudu said  the acting Commander the Joint Military Force deployed to the Niger Delta, Operation Delta Safe, Brigadier-General Kevin Aligbe has applauded the move by the militant group to surrender and embrace peace.

Aligbe maintained that the military has zero tolerance for militancy and related crimes in the Joint Operations Area, and urged other aggrieved groups to emulate the BSF by laying down their arms.