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Bakassi Strike Force Militant Group Surrenders
One of the militant groups that have terrorized the Niger Delta region in recent times, Bakassi Strike Force, BSF, has surrendered some of its arms to the Nigerian Military authorities as a sign of its willingness to surrender and quit militancy if the federal government addressed their concerns.
This was contained in a statement issued by the spokesman of the Joint Military Force in the Niger Delta, Olaolu Daudu, on Wednesday, in Yenagoa.
Daudu, a Lieutenant Colonel, stated that the government of Cross River State in conjunction with the State command of the Department of State Services, DSS, was working out the terms of the surrender.
He said: “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.”
He added that the militant group had turned in some of its weapons.
“To buttress this demonstration of goodwill, BSF turned in one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and an AK 47 rifle,” the Military spokesman stated.
“The Department of State Service representatives and representatives of the rapporteur have since recovered the arms as talks are ongoing on modalities to surrender their remaining arms,” Daudu said.
Leader of the group, Benjamin Ene, a.k.a ‘Humble Lion G1’ had in a video message on November 1 expressed the desire of his group to surrender to the Nigerian Authorities.
In the video message, the Militant leader said that his group was not out to vandalise National assets, but were only agitating for the wellbeing of his people in Bakassi, an area of Nigeria that was ceded to Cameroon.
Ene maintained that, unlike other militant groups, there was no evidence that the Bakassi Strike Force had destroyed any of Nigeria’s oil and gas infrastructure or molested innocent citizens.
Daudu, the JTF spokesman in his statement noted that the Acting Commander of the Operation, Kevin Aligbe, a Brigadier General applauded the move by the militant, insisting that the military has zero tolerance for militancy and related crimes in the Joint Operations Area.
Aligbe advised other militant groups to emulate the BSF and embrace the reconciliatory options open at both State and Federal levels.
The JTF spokesman further stated that troops of Sector 3, acting on intelligence report on Wednesday went after suspected sea robbers around Kumfari Community near Idama in Rivers State.
“During the encounter, one suspected sea robber was killed, two were wounded and seven others apprehended as one locally made pistol and machete were recovered,” he stated.