gunmen
gunmen

Emmanuel Addeh
In continuation of their protests against the alleged failure of the Amnesty Office in Abuja to pay their al­lowances and shunning by government authori­ties in Delta, some ex-militants in the state on Tuesday held the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Amos Utuama, hostage for several hours.
The ex-militants pre­vented the Delta State deputy governor from leaving the government house annex in Warri, where he had gone for a meeting, insisting that the state government and its agencies in the state must have a deal to augment the stipends being paid by the Federal Government.
Yesterday?s demonstra­tion was the third major action to draw the atten­tion of the authorities, having earlier shut down the Delta State Oil Pro­ducing Area Development Commission around War­ri/Sapele Road and block­ing the popular East-West Road which serves as the gateway from the south.
The Nigerian navy and the police were, however deployed to the scene, but were not allowed to apply force in dispersing the ex-militants.
Negotiations were still ongoing at the time of go­ing to press, as the deputy governor attempted to placate the rampaging youths, who were bent on getting their own share of the national cake.
But in a swift reaction, the deputy governor de­nied being held hostage, but insisted that the irate ex-militants only came to register their displeasure over non-payment of the entitlements.
In a statement issued by the Press Secretary to the deputy governor, Augus­tine Avwode, claimed that there was no iota of truth in the story.
The statement read in parts: ?The deputy gover­nor, Prof Amos Utuama, SAN, was not held hostage by ex-militants as there was no reason whatsoever for such an action.
?On Monday, the boys protested and yesterday only went to express their grievances upon hearing that His Excellency was at Government House An­nex, Warri.
?They subsequently dispersed after express­ing their grievances in the hope that His Eminence will relay it to higher quarters,? it said.

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