Students under the federal government amnesty programme in Benson Idahosa University (BIU), Benin, Edo state, have appealed to the federal government to pay up their stipends arrears running to seven months to prevent them from returning to the creeks and continuing with their old ways.
The ex militants who addressed journalists in Benin during a protest, said they have been trying to cope with the situation but are fed up, as they do not want to starve themselves to death.
Leader of the former agitators, Preye Noel, said the protest was to bring their problem to the attention of the federal governments.
“We are helpless, we are confused, we are frustrated and that there is a need for us to cry out. Here we are today to tell the whole world that for the past seven months, our in-training allowances have not been paid.
“Some of our counterparts in other universities have been paid. We have been receiving lectures in hunger, writing exams in hunger.
“Some of us travelled in flying boats for two, three hours before getting to the city before we got to Benson Idahosa University. We virtually know nobody in Benin City.
“We have no brothers, sisters, friends and acquaintances to even keep us going financially. All these months we have not been paid.
This amnesty program was formed to resolve crisis in the Niger Delta. Think of it, for the past seven months, we are frustrated we do not have what to eat and we are students studying under such condition,” he said.
Noel called on well meaning Nigerians to prevail on the federal government and those concerned to come to their assistance to prevent them from going back to the creek
“Some of us have been tempted to think of the old ways that led to the federal government amnesty program. Please, we are pleading with the presidency and President Buhari to come to our aid by prevailing on the amnesty office to ensure our monthly stipends are paid. We are appealing to the ministry of finance to please release funds because the story we heard was that there was no fund.
“They have paid other schools. Our counterparts in other schools have been paid. We do not know the crimes the students of Benson Idahosa University have committed to have delayed our stipends from being paid.
“That is why we have come here, please save our souls, pass our message to the whole world. All well meaning Nigerians should prevail on the federal authority to make sure that we are paid. We do not want to go back to creeks again,” he said.