Buhari Outlines Challenges Of Niger Delta Militancy | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari Outlines Challenges Of Niger Delta Militancy

Niger Delta Avengers, Millitants, Ex-militant, NPDC
Posted: Oct 11, 2016 at 4:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Innocent Oweh






President Muhammadu Buhari has said his major challenge in resolving the Niger Delta militancy was the inability to clearly pin-point leaders manning various factions within the group.

He said it has been uncovered that the militant groups were seeking to colonise Nigeria as reflected in their careless destruction of critical oil installations in the region.

Buhari, who played host to the Foreign Minister of Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walters Steinmeier, at the State House, Abuja, on Monday, said Germany could be of assistance in curbing the menace of oil theft in Nigeria.

President Buhari said the Niger Delta situation was more complex since the militants had no central command and some of them were mere extortionists, but promised that a handle would be found to the unrest soon.

The president particularly said such assistance could be in the areas of equipment, training, and sharing of intelligence with the Nigerian Navy.

“Another serious form of insecurity has reared its head in the Niger Delta. The objective is to colonise the country economically by sabotaging oil and gas installations.

“We have been trying to speak with their leaders, to know how many groups there are, and we are also working with the oil companies.

“The militants engage in sophisticated sabotage, using skills they had gained from trainings either by government, or the oil companies, to vandalise installations deep in the sea.

“We need to understand who the real agitators are, and engage with them, so that confidence can be restored in the region,” the president added.

He lamented that Nigeria’s oil was still being stolen, and taken away through the Gulf of Guinea, but that adequate training and equipping of the Navy will prevent this trend from escalating.

He told Steinmeier that the security challenge in the North East of the country was under control with Boko Haram largely defeated.

Dr. Steinmeier, in his response, said Germany was happy to hear of the strides taken by the Buhari administration against insurgents in the North East, adding that they were equally willing to lend a helping hand in resolving the crisis in the Niger Delta.

Applauding the war against corruption, Dr. Steinmeier said it had his country’s support, adding that Germany was also interested in investing in renewable energy, gas exploration, mining, among others, to boost Nigeria’s economy.

“Germany will support development in Nigeria. We want closer cooperation on migration issues, urbanisation, and supporting the Navy with equipment, training and intelligence,” the foreign minister said.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Super Eagles over defeating Zambia at the weekend.

He said it is not only a tonic for Nigeria at a time like this, but also a confidence booster that the indomitable Nigerian spirit is well and alive.

The national team had begun its qualifying campaign for Russia 2018 World Cup by beating Zambia 2-1 in Ndola, a development President Buhari describes as “cheery and soul-lifting.”

He said it was a sign of good things to come, urging the team not to rest on its oars till it eventually qualified for the global soccer fiesta.

“This is but the first step in a long journey. However, that step has been well taken. An away victory at this level, in which the stakes are quite high, is remarkable. The ultimate is to qualify for Russia 2018, and fly Nigeria’s flag alongside those of other giant soccer playing nations.

“I look forward to that, and I urge the team and their handlers to always keep their eyes on the ball,” President Buhari said.