Niger Delta Militants are extortioners- Buhari

Chidi Samuel

President Muhammadu Buhari  has described  the Niger Delta Avengers who are attacking oil and gas installations in the region as extortioners who wants to colonise the country economically. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said in a statement that the President  stated this while receiving Germany’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Frank-Walters Steinmeier, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

While informing his visitor that the security challenge in the North-East of the country was to a very large extent under control, The President regretted that another security challenge has surfaced in the Niger Delta.

President Buhari said,  “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.

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“We are 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 the 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.”

He added, “The Niger Delta situation is more complex, since the militants have no central command, and some of them are mere extortioners.

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 the country was willing to lend a helping hand in resolving the crisis in the Niger Delta.

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Applauding the war against corruption, he 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 visiting German Minister said.