The Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) has disclosed that it has been receiving offers to team up with international groups and local freedom fighters for more effective confrontation with the Nigerian state and destabilise the country, disclosing, however, that it turned down such overtures.
Leader of the group, Benjamin Ene, in a statement released on Wednesday, suggested that moves by his group to end hostilities in the Bakassi area of the Niger Delta had been snubbed by the Federal Government, but restated the readiness of BSF to lay down its arms and work with the Federal Government to ensure that the problems faced by the Bakassi people were addressed.
Ene, also known as G1, had on November 8 returned a General Purpose Machine Gun and AK 47 rifles to the officials of the Department of State Services, DSS.
In the statement made available to newsmen through his counsel, Mr. Ozinko Ozinko, the militant leader, who is currently on the wanted list of Nigerian Army, said the group had over the years been sidelined in the Federal Government Amnesty Programme.
According to him, “As a mark of good faith and demonstration of seriousness, on November 8 by 16.30 hours, we returned weapons our fighters seized during our last confrontation.
“We call on the whole world and the United Nations to note this declaration of ceasefire and the return of weapons while we remain vigilant and wait for the response of the Nigerian government.
“For now, we shall maintain our independence and refuse to take up offers we have been receiving to team up with other international groups and local freedom fighters for more effective confrontation and destabilisation of Nigeria.”
Ene said the group, which consists of over 1, 000 foot soldiers, would name its representative when the Federal Government showed seriousness and readiness to end militancy in Bakassi.