Vehicular movement on the East-West Road, was, yesterday, disrupted for hours as hundreds of aggrieved ex-militants from Bayelsa and Delta states barricaded the Mbiama-Yenagoa axis of the road in protest against the delayed payment of their five months stipends by the Federal Government.
The development left travellers stranded for hours on the busy road. File: Repentant militants surrendering their arms The ex-agitators, it was gathered stormed the Mbiama-Yenagoa Junction on the road as early as 6a.m., with placards some if which read, “Buhari, pay us our stipends,” “Don’t politicize Niger Delta Amnesty,” “Boroh pay us our money,” among others. They chanted solidarity songs, calling on the Presidential Amnesty Office to pay them their outstanding five months stipends.
Armed soldiers and other security personnel were at the scene of the protest to forestall any breakdown of law and order. It however, took the intervention of the Commander of the special Joint Military outfit in the Niger Delta, codenamed ‘Operation Delta Safe’, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie for the ex agitators to dismantle the barricade for free flow of traffic.
Rear Admiral Okojie urged the ex-militants to be patient with the authorities, assuring that their stipends would be paid to them. The Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, it will be recalled had on Sunday, appealed to the ex-militants to be calm and exercise patience with the Federal Government over delay in the payment of their stipends. He also called on the Presidential Amnesty Office to urgently pay whatever was due the ex-agitators.