The division among some ex-militants has widened over planned visit to Aso Rock by one of the former warlords and alleged refusal by the presidency.
This is coming after the June visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at Nigeria’s seat of power by Asari Dokubo.
During the visit, Dokubo addressed State House correspondents from the press chamber. The picture of him sitting in front of Nigeria’s Coat of Arms triggered outrage.
Dokubo’s controversial remarks on oil theft and insecurity also generated backlash, after which the presidency allegedly barred all ex-militants from visiting Aso Rock.
This do not go down well with some other warlords who had planned to visit Tinubu as they blamed Dokubo over his “vituperations”.
Speaking with Daily Trust on Thursday, ex-militant leader who is also the Mayor of Urhoboland, Eshanakpe Israel a.k.a Akpodoro, called on the presidency to only bar and decline audience to Dokubo and not other warlords whom he described as reputable.
Akpodoro argued that Dokubo should be singled out for sanction since the leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF) was not elected to represent the body of ex-militants.
“Dokubo flies his own flag. FG should not treat vicariously other former warlords who willingly surrendered arms at the end of the armed struggle in the Delta”, Akpodoro who is the leader of the Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE-A) said.
Ex-militants he noted, are quintessential, astute, eminent and top-notch peace builders who are hungry to add their quota to the growth and development of thei country.
The law enforcement agencies have the dosier of all ex-militants, he said, if anyone is found wanting there shouldn’t be hesitation to rein in such character who runs foul of the law at any time rather than punishing others for the sin of one element.
He also said rather than turning vicious in our criticisms of the policies and programmes of the government, the citizens should support the President to build a virile nation where the people will be better for it in short term.