The militants who kidnapped the six Senior Secondary School pupils of Lagos Model College, Igbonla, Epe, Lagos State, a few months ago, were among some youths that surrendered their arms to embrace the amnesty programme of the Ondo State Government on Tuesday.
The militants were also alleged to be responsible for various pipeline vandalism at Arepo in Ogun State and several attacks in the riverine areas of Ondo State.
The militants were led by their leader, Ogailo Young, also known as OC, to the Collection and Documentation of Arms Centre in Ajakpa community in the Ese-Odo Local Government Area of the state.
They said they willingly dropped their arms and ammunition to embrace the amnesty programme and allow peace to reign in the state.
Young appreciated the state and the Federal Government for the fresh amnesty initiative extended to his men.
He said joblessness and poverty, as a result of neglect by government, led them to crime.
He said, “If we are asked the reasons for embarking on our struggle, the simple answer is joblessness, suffering, poverty, oppression and neglect by the government.
“We did not find life easy. We relocated to Ogun State and the schoolboys in Government College, Igbonla, Epe, were kidnapped. Their release led to the present arrangement through the courageous efforts of the deputy governors of Ondo and Delta states. We did not kidnap these boys for mere ransom, but to negotiate our freedom and re-integration into normal life.”
The leader of the repentant armed group added that the members decided to stop illegal oil bunkering and planned the kidnap in order to get the attention of the government.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the state amnesty committee and Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, said the exercise was impressive.
He told the men that the Federal Government would fulfil its promise by providing employment and education, among others, to enable the former militants to be self-reliant.
Ajayi also assured them that the government would not attack the oil producing areas of the state after the submission of arms and ammunition by the youths.