Saturday Tribune correspondent in Warri, EBENEZER ADUROKIYA, took up seven ex-militants on how they are living after coming out from the creeks.
Though barely literate and finding it difficult to speak even pidgin english, they also spoke on the workings of the inner recesses of the creeks.
New NDLF leader, Peter Perebowei
How are you?
I’m very very okay. I enjoy the enjoyment (the occasion).
You sure say una don cooperate with govt well well now?
Yes o. there is no backward again. No more going back to the creeks again. Old things are passed away, all things are become new. We are a new creature now.
You are born again now?
Yes, I’m fully born again now at Christ Mercyland. So, I’m fully born again now. I believe we shall work with government and peace will surely reign in Niger Delta.
Why did you go into crime and criminality?
Oh boy, man no go chop? Dem Federal Government neglected us and dey just dey chop everything while we dey suffer here, how we no go go into it?
But they don kill una leader now. You know fear e fit be you?
Our general is dead. May his soul rest in peace. May be if im follow this path wey we dey follow now, maybe today, im for dey here with us today.
So, if FG give you money today, wetin you go take am do?
My brother, na money everybody dey find o. If FG give me money now, I’ve to take care of my children and …
You get children?
Yes, I have children.
How many wives?
I have only one wife.
Which business dey your mind to do if dem give you the money?
Both marine and land business, which the money go fit handle. By the grace of God, I believe I will not do my business on river again, but on land. I will not experience anything river again.
How you want take help government too make trouble no dey this side again, especially kidnapping?
You no say there are many heroes in Niger Delta. So, on this our race anyone that happens, we take am like that. We would work with government so that peace will reign in Niger Delta. But anyhow, anyhow, make dem dey carry us along. Make dem know say hungry man is a devil’s workshop. Make dem just dey carry us along, u no.
Another repentant militant calls himself CSO Lucky George
How are you feeling today?
We pray that the government works with us so that at the end of the day, we can get understanding to live together.
How you wan take help government to get peace for Niger Delta?
We want everywhere to be peace for this Niger Delta. I want government to back us up so we can work hand in hand.
Why you go into the creeks for criminal activities?
No be una dey write say we dey suffer? Na true now. Na the suffering carry us find how we go survive like una.
What are you promising the government? Will there be peace in this region?
For now, there will be no kidnapping again. Everything will go peacefully. I’m assuring the government that there will be no kidnapping again for now. We can help government to work.
Another ex-militant, Sigenia (I know do you bad)
How you dey feel?
I dey cool.
You like the thing wey government do for una?
I like am.
You go go back to crime again?
Tufiakwa, God forbid bad thing. After dem settle us today, no more kain. Na new life.
Sanni Koro, a Muslim, is yet another ex-militant
How you dey feel now?
I dey feel fine.
No more yawa?
No more yawa o.
You know go go back to the creeks?
No more; everything don settle. No more going back to the creeks.
You too don give your life to Jesus, abi which one you dey?
Me I be Muslim o.
Alex Aderumo, another ex-militant
My brother, how you dey now?
I can feel happy today, both physical and spiritual.
Are you happy now?
I am very happy, very wonderful day today. I thank God for making us see this day for our success to surrender arms to the state government, thank you.
After this, if they give you something, wetin you go take the money do?
This is a very progress line of line. What we intend to do is something that will make us feel inhuman to nation. Not anything criminality. We promise the FG to work with us and to be a good citizen to Nigeria. We expect FG to work with us.
Kulala Dr Lastdone, another hilarious ex-militant
How do you feel today?
How I feel? In fact, today is a calamity to me!
Today is a calamity, how?
Because, we don surrender everything to FG. I believe that today, we are free and thank God I believe God. God is too much, na him control everything.
You happy with government well well?
Yeah. No more yamayama.
You sure say you no get gun for house again?
No, My life as Christian na now. I’m telling you.
So, you go marry?
Very well, everything will be done fully, I’m telling you.
Minister Oseme, another ex-militant
Before now wetin you dey do?
Before now, always I’m with God, who dey always dey with me and find way for me.
You don kill people before?
I no use to kill, but…
Which kind one you dey do?
God always keeps us. I be always a sinner. I don use my hand and leg take do bad things. But now, I don commit my life to Jesus.
If dem settle you now, wetin you go take the money do?
I go do business and commit my life to Jesus. When we surrender today, I go get total freedom and I go sleep well this night. No one will be calling my name here and there again, saying government dey look for you.
You can now walk freely?
Yes, I can now walk freely; I cannot, one day, follow anyone wey come with anykind of waka again. No bad attitude again. I’m so happy.
So you go marry now abi you don marry before?
I have beautiful woman.
Ex-militant, Imoko, speaks
How you dey feel now?
I dey fine.
You happy with government?
Yes, I happy with them. I no dey go back to creeks again.
You sure say you no still get small pistol for house?
Never! Never again.
So you don give your life to Jesus?
Yes, I don give my life to Jesus.
If dem give you money now, wetin you go use am do?
I fit use am for any kind business.
You happy with FG?
Yes o. we happy very well.
Wetin you like about John Togo, your late leader?
I like am for everything.
All the militants were taken through an oath in the name of Jesus Christ with a promise never to return to crime again. One thing was evident; the boys were broke and needed money badly. Like the wild cat, they have tasted blood money and they may continue to hunger for it.