Published on Jun 07, 2016 Greenbarge Reporters
Federal Government has rallied the major stakeholders in Niger Delta states to develop a common and united strategy to deal with the recent resurgent militant attacks on the nation’s oil installations.
At a meeting held today at the Presidential Villa, and presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, governors from Niger Delta states, three ministers and military service chiefs met behind closed doors to discuss the situation, and forge a common strategy to halt what is considered by both federal and state governments as acts of economic sabotage by the militants.
At the end of the meeting, which lasted over two hours, it was made known that the federal government is proceeding on a collaborative strategy with the governments, communities in the Niger Delta region and other relevant stakeholders towards tackling the situation holistically.
Speaking to news men, at the end of the meeting, Delta State Ifeanyi Okowa, said that the meeting identified the need for synergy between the federal and the state governments as a very important step going forward.
Governor Okowa said: “one thing that we have identified is the synergy between the federal government and states is very important and this meeting has actually revealed a lot of issues and we believe that the collaboration between the Federal Government and States would help us to tackle the issues in the Niger Delta.”
Governor Okowa said that a lot of decisions were taken at the meeting after they were briefed by Service Chiefs.
“We have taken a lot of decisions which we think will help us to mitigate what is going on currently in the states particularly in Delta and Bayelsa.
“We are going to find a solution very soon.”
The governor said that it was decided that military presence in the region should be de-escalated, though it was agreed that the forces should be kept to provide security and presence while government begins immediate engagement process with the communities in the affected areas.
On the fate of the amnesty programme, Governor Okowa said that the Presidential Adviser on the Amnesty Programme briefed the meeting and that it said the programme was still on-going.
“We have a Special Adviser in charge of Amnesty and he is doing a lot of work.”
Those at the meeting were Governors from the Niger Delta states which include Governors of Edo, Ondo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, and the Deputy Governor of Cross River. On the side of the federal government were the Minister of Defense, Rtd. Major General Mohammed Dan Ali, Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu. Military service chiefs were also in attendance led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt.Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin and all the Service Chiefs who briefed the meeting on the security situation in the region.
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