President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over threats by the militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, to bomb critical oil and gas infrastructures in the country describing it as rather unnecessary.
The reaction is coming after media reports said that the militant group had announced plans to resume attacks on oil facilities with the launch of “operation humble” in the oil-rich region, due to the unjust distribution of crude proceeds to the oil-producing region as well as rising insecurity in the country.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in which he quoted Buhari as saying that all issues raised by the group were already addressed when the president met with the leadership of the Niger Delta and Ijaw National Congress (INC), at the presidential villa on Thursday.
Mr Adesina said when the Niger Delta and Ijaw National Congress representatives visited the president, issues such as the call for restructuring and the inauguration of a board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were addressed.
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What the Presidential Media Aide said in the statement
Adesina quoted the president as saying:
“I am equally concerned about the rate of environmental degradation in the Niger Delta and as you are aware, the hydrocarbon pollution remediation project has started work with remediation efforts in Ogoni land and I have directed the minister of environment to ensure that the projects are implemented with a high percentage of local content and inclusion of the surrounding communities.”
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Going further, the statement from Adesina partly reads, “The media was on Sunday awash with threats and demands by the group to embark on economic sabotage through the bombing of critical oil and gas installations unless certain demands, including the development of the Niger Delta, and restructuring of the Federation, were met.”
It is, however, curious that the threat was coming less than 48 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari met with the leadership of the Niger Delta and Ijaw National Congress (INC), at the Presidential Villa, and the germane issues had been responded to, especially call for restructuring of the Federation, and the inauguration of a Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).”
What you should know
The militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, while announcing the resumption of attacks on oil and gas installations in the region, said that the south-south remains the most underdeveloped region in the country, with their needs and interests undermined by the failed Nigerian State.
It can be recalled that the Niger Delta Avengers were responsible for most of the attacks on oil and gas facilities in 2016, resulting in the nation losing about half its oil production. The group suspended attacks in 2017 following intervention by regional leaders and pledges by the government to address development challenges facing the region.