Again, Troops Storm Oporoza In Search Of Militants | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Again, Troops Storm Oporoza In Search Of Militants

Posted: Jun 7, 2016 at 12:54 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


…Peace Talks Underway, Says Osinbajo


Daniel Abia, Emma Arubi, Innocent Oweh

Port Harcourt/Warri/Abuja


Federal Government troops returned to Oporoza, Delta State, on Monday, in search of militants who have continuously claimed responsibility for recent attacks on oil pipelines.

Troops’ return came less than 72 hours after they ended an earlier six-day siege on the community.

There were speculations that they returned after receiving information of militant movement in the community.

Reports claimed that troops searched the Oporoza Guesthouse where they had been previously.

The lockdown of communities by military troops have been widely condemned by stakeholders in the region who insist that military occupation made communal life impossible in the affected areas.

Mr. Udengs Eradiri, President of the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC), in a recent interview said his group was in total opposition to deployment of troops in the beleaguered communities.

Said he: “We condemn the deployment of troops to the Niger Delta. As much as we condemn and will keep condemning the act of bombing pipelines and other oil facilities in the Niger Delta by militants, military option is not and can never be a solution to the problem.

“I think that we need dialogue at this point. We don’t know these boys, but we are calling on the Federal Government to reconsider the negative implication of sending troops to the region. Things have never worked that way. You cannot use force to end a problem.

“I am pleading with the government and our dear President to have a rethink because two wrongs cannot make a right. We condemn the actions of these boys. At the same time, we are calling on the government to withdraw the troops from the Niger Delta communities as this can only aggravates the problem.”

Nonetheless, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that the Federal Government had initiated talks with leaders in the Niger Delta communities over the spate of attacks on critical oil installations in the region.

He said government was taking the initiative even though it knew that their actions amounted to economic sabotage.

“Federal Government has started engaging leaders and people of the Niger Delta regarding the spate of attacks on oil installations in the area.

“Even though its an act that amounts to economic sabotage. But besides reaching out to the people in the area, government is also beefing up security,” the VP said.

He said the focus of the Buhari administration was to ensure that the man on the street in the Niger Delta received benefits from all that is available there.

He urged leaders in the region to be more accountable to the people.

Osinbajo also stated that government was working round the clock to minimize the losses arising from the attacks.

“We are talking, we are ensuring that we minimize losses and we are stepping up security. We are also engaging the international oil companies, IOCs, to see what options exists.”