26 Jan, 2021 08:30 am

Nigeria: Cross River, EU Destroy 260 Arms, 5,510 Ammunition in Calabar

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)-European Union arms destruction exercise commenced yesterday in Calabar, Cross River State capital, with the destruction of a total of 260 arms and 5,510 ammunition.

The destroyed arms were surrendered by militant groups-Bakassi Strike Force and Khaki Boys-hitherto operating in the creeks and forest of the state.Speaking at the occasion which was held at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Ayade called for the inclusion of the Bakassi Strike Force in the Amnesty programme of the federal government.Let the entire members of the Bakassi Strike Force and the Khaki Boys be included in the Amnesty programme of the federal government.Austin Ibok, said the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons was established by EU and ECOWAS as a programme to provide an alternative livelihood to youths in Cross River State, with emphasis on ex-agitators, such as the Bakassi Strike Force, the Boki Freedom Fighters as well as ex-cultists, who had denounced their membership of various confraternities.

He recalled that a similar exercise was carried out by his government in 2018, where over 5,000 militants surrendered their arms, but regretted that "up till now, they are waiting to be enrolled into the federal government Amnesty programme.The governor, therefore, appealed to the federal government to give the state special consideration in terms of financial assistance.

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