Osinbajo Asks Military To Shun Divisive Forces

Yemi Osinbajo, Military, Divisive Forces, National Unity, Acting PresidentNigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has urged the military to resist divisive forces that undermine national unity and economic growth.

Professor Osinbajo made the call on Thursday at a lecture with the participants of Course 25 of the National Defence College in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He had inspected a guard of honour mounted for him before proceeding to the Sani Abacha hall where he delivered a lecture on ‘The Economic Dimension of National Security’.

He noted that divisive forces and corruption were major threats to the unity and economic prosperity of a country.

The Vice President highlighted how the activities of the Niger Delta militants in the southern region and Boko Haram terrorists in northern Nigeria have affected the nation’s economy negatively.

He called on the Nigerian Army to resist any disruptive force that could undermine the unity and economic prosperity of the nation.

The acting president also touched on the government’s economic recovery plans where he called for the rejigging of the civil and criminal justice system.

 

Other speakers at the gathering also appealed to the military to ensure national security in the discharge of their duty.

They noted that that national security and economic prosperity are Siamese twins that cannot be separated.

Ex-Niger Delta Militants Ask For Five Months Outstanding Salary

Chevron Pipeline, Niger Delta Militants, DeltaFormer Niger Delta militants, under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to speedily intervene in the payment of five months’ salaries owed them.

The over 30,000 ex-militants believe that the President’s quick intervention would douse the tension that is already mounting in the region over the unpaid arrears.

The Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Phase Two in Bayelsa State, Salvation Ibina-Rufus, urged Mr Buhari to order the Federal Ministry of Finance to release money to pay the ex-agitators to avoid another round of restiveness in the region.

“We equally want to use this medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct the Minister of Finance to release the 30 billion Naira approved by the Presidency to the Amnesty Office to enable Boroh to perform his work effectively to avoid another round of restiveness in the region.

“We are optimistic that President Buhari is aware of the sufferings and pains Christians suffered during the Christmas celebration due to non-release of salaries by the Ministry of Finance,” he said.

Ibina-Rufus made the appeal, as he sympathised with the aggrieved ex-militants, encouraging them to exercise patience with the government.

Maintain Peace And Order

He noted that based on the meeting held with Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd), he was hopeful that beneficiaries of the scheme would be paid immediately after the New Year celebration.

The former militant believes that the delay in payment that they were experiencing was due to the Ministry of Finance’s inability to release funds for the Amnesty office to commence payment.

He then commended his members for their patience and understanding, saying, “this is really a tempting time so I am advising you to maintain the existing peace”.

He rationalised that Boroh had shown sincerity and commitment to ensuring the payment of all their arrears and advised other former militants to maintain peace and order, assuring them that he is very optimistic that their salaries would be paid immediately after official duties resumes.

Police Recover Guns Allegedly Snatched By Niger Delta Militants

Police, Kidnappers, OsunThe Delta State Police Command has recovered guns said to have been snatched by Niger Delta militants from officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service.

The two automatic weapons were reported to have been seized from the officials on routine patrol in the creeks of the Niger Delta region to check the influx of illegal aliens to Nigeria through the waterways.

There was a short ceremony put together by the Delta State Police Command to put on record that two M3 rifles snatched from a marine crew of the Nigerian Immigration Service in the Creeks of the Niger Delta on December 10, 2016 have been recovered.

The weapons were handed over by the traditional ruler His Royal Majesty, Couple Orominor, the Pere of Ogbe-Ijaw Kingdom to the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim.

The Ijaw monarch called for a better synergy between security agencies, government and the community for effective dissemination of information that would help in reducing crime in the Niger Delta Region

“Arms were seized by unknown persons within my domain and I swung into action in getting information on how to recover the arms. Government should do its part in ensuring that there is no hiding place for criminals, as most of them take advantage of the bushes to perpetrate their evil intentions,” he said

While stressing the importance of partnership, Mr Ibrahim pointed out that trust was the only way for effective community policing, adding that the two rifles were recovered through the combined efforts of some policemen and Ogbe-Ijaw community.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, have always advocated community partnership, believing that the police could not do it alone.
“You have to partner with all security stakeholders and traditional rulers to build trust and confidence,” Mr Idris had said.

It was reported that the immigration officials the guns were assigned to were abducted and held hostage for some days before they were released by their abductors

Since then, the missing weapons have become a source of concern for the security agencies.

There is also an appeal to the Niger Delta Militants and other youths to embrace peace which only dialogue being

Jonathan, Okowa Take Message Of Peace To Niger Delta Region

goodluck-jonathan-and-ifeanyi-okowaFormer President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State have taken a message of peace to the creeks of the Niger Delta.

According to both leaders, the destruction of pipelines and other national assets in the area has not only affected revenue generated to the Federation Accounts but, has also, reduced revenue accruable to Delta State.

They both spoke during the presentation of the Staff of Office to the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Oboro Gbaraun II, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, agreeing that peace is the only solution for meaningful development to take place.

Thrilled with the display of a rich cultural heritage showcased by the people of Gbaramatu, the former President told the crowd that dialogue and peace were the only way forward.

“We need peace for development to take place, Nigeria is a great nation, no matter what is happening, Nigeria will, Niger Delta will succeed, Gbaramatu Kingdom will succeed” Dr. Jonathan said.

The ceremony, which was colourful, attracting political office holders, traditional rulers, captains of industries, friends and well wishers, caught the excitement of the Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

He said: “It is time we realise that under a peaceful atmosphere, where everybody lives in peace, we can build a future of trust for our children.

“There is no alternative to partnership, when you are aggrieved, you have reasons to feel bad but, we can carry out our agitations with dialogue. It is time to forgive those who needs to be forgiven because, when we do that, it will be easier for us to speak boldly and be heard”.

Thanking the state governor, HRM Oboro Gbaraun II encouraged his people to always uphold the culture and tradition of the Gbaramatu Kingdom.

Both leaders are pushing for peace in the region where militancy has resurged since second quarter of 2015, with oil facilities bearing the brunt.

Some oil companies have declared force majeure, as attacks on oil facilities increased.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks that have dropped oil production output to less than 1.6 million barrels per day, dipping the nation’s revenue at a time it needs funds to finance deficit in its budget.

Attacks on oil pipelines have also affected power generation, with plants, which largely rely on gas supply from the Niger Delta region shutting down.

The situation has also forced the nation to reconsider more input in hydropower generation that it had relied on before huge gas deposit was discovered.

Private Sector Should Partner With Govt. On Economic Development- Saraki

Private sector, Government, Economic development, saraki
Bukola Saraki

In moving the Nigerian economy forward and alleviating the problems facing the nation, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has urged the private sector to partner with the government.

According to him, this is why one of the first legislative initiatives, was to “review all the laws that made it difficult for people to do business in our country and also those that frustrated investors willing to come into our country”.

He said this while addressing guests at the first National Chevening Alumni
Leadership Summit which kicked off at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos, on November 18, 2016.

Calling on the Chevening alumni to take action, Mr Saraki said “we must create a system that enables the best minds to work effectively for the good of the country.

Private sector, Government, Economic development, saraki
John Momoh

Meanwhile, the Chairman Of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh, also addressing the Nigerian situation at the event, said Nigeria is replete with some inept and corrupt leadership.

“The gap in Nigeria is indisputable, Nigeria is replete with some inept and corrupt leadership which has been exacerbated by ethnic and sectional and sometimes religious biases, but! this doesn’t imply that we have never had good leaders, he said emphatically.

“Infact we have had many good leaders and some of which are present in this room today.

“A day like this is very important as it gives us an opportunity to meet with Nigeria’s great men and women.

“This is a time for us to reconnect, to swap success stories, a happy time to spend together and even much more a time to relish the experiences and values we all share.

“This morning, we will be able to brainstorm together on a matter of national importance: the economy.

Touching on issues such as corruption, he opined that “corruption has had far-reaching repercussions, including impairing the armed forces ability to combat the Boko Haram insurgency in the North east.

He also spoke of pipeline vandalism and how activities of the Niger Delta Militants have affected the nation which once solely depended on oil.

In line with the theme of the occasion, the Channels Chairman re-iterated the roles of the Chevening alumni, in bridging the leadership gap and ultimately improving the state of the nation.

“We must live beyond our capabilities, let’s dream big, develop leadership skills, and strive to sour beyond our own personal gifts.

“Let’s not wait for things to happen –  Instead, let us make things happen – Let us, as Chevening scholars initiate change.

“We must also help people to discover themselves – We should we can have our heads above the clouds But ensure that we have our feet firmly on the ground, sou that we do not alienate the people.

This according to him has been one of the short-comings of many leaders across the world.

“We must be able to lead ahead of our contemporaries – We must live deeper than our calamities” Mr Momoh challenged the alumni.

Private sector, Government, Economic development, sarakiOn a lighter note, the President of the Chevening Alumni Association of Nigeria (CAAN), Thomas Odemwingi, in his address of welcome, apologized on behalf of the executive, that since the inauguration of the association, it has only had few activities.

He however stated that the British High Commission, could attest to the fact that they have been involved in activities such as conducting interviews for schorlarships, for chevening programs, as well as send forth parties, among others.

He explained that the group was launched in August 2011, as a charity, while stating that the aim of the programme was to “plan what we are going to do at the different levels of governance and in the various geo-political zones”.

“For those of you that are being involved in one assignment or the other, I would like you to be very committed to this, so that at the end of the day, we would pass on the baton to a new generation”, Mr Odemwingi charged the guests”.

He stated that one of the achievements of the association was that it had “successfully made a progamme proposal for Chevening alumni programme funds.

The association president, went ahead to commend a number of people for their immense contributions to the association.

Organisers of the event restated that the Chevening / U.K government global scholarship programme, is aimed at individuals with strong academic and leadership potentials, to network extensively and study for a fully funded masters programme in the United Kingdom.

Private sector, Government, Economic development, saraki
Paul Arkwright

In his address, the British High Commissioner, Paul Ark wright, described the occasion as an “exciting new chapter in the story of this wonderful U.K/ Nigeria Partnership”.

Recalling the “spirits of the chevening awards” Mr Wright said:

“Chevening is a global programme that awards fully funded masters, to people who demonstrate full leadership potential.

“It is a phenomenal opportunity and the competition is fierce, none more so than here in Nigeria, where Chevening attracted more applicants than many other countries worldwide, last year.

Highlighting some of the problems faced by Nigerians, such as the economic recession and attempts to create a more diversified and inclusive government, he sxpressed that:

“The U.K is firmly committed to supporting these efforts”.

He also stated that part of the desires of the Chevening programme, is to empower Nigerians such that the problems being faced in the country, are not only solved by external forces but by Nigerians themselves, having acquired the necessary Knowledge and skills.

Mr Arkwright expressed appreciation towards guests which comprised alumni, industry experts among others.

Army Fortified To Enforce National Security

army, national securityOfficers of the Nigerian army, have been fortified to enforce national security and development, following the just concluded 2016 Operational Planning seminar.

Amid recent challenges and threats to national safety in parts of Nigeria, exchange of intelligence through robust deliberations and programmes, remains critical to surmounting the hurdles against national peaceful co-existence and development of the country.

This forms part of the resolution after the week-long workshop aimed at equipping military officers and other security agents for the task of maintaining unity and restoring peace in insurgent-ravaged communities across the country.

At the Operational Planning Cadre for officers of the two division Nigerian Army, Adekunle Fajuyi cantonment Ibadan, the General Officer Commanding Maj. Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, said the programme was designed to enhance operational planning skills and ensure readiness of officers while also bridging the gap among other security agents for better efficiency.

The realization that security threats could be better handled through collaborative efforts among all security agencies, also necessitated the forum, where series of lectures and deliberations took place.

army, national security
Governor, Abiola Ajimobi

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi in his key note address to all security chiefs present, lauded the contribution of the army for maintaining internal peace and tackling insurgency in the country.

He expressed delight that all security agents are coming together to foster better synergy at a critical moment in Nigeria.

Abdulkarim noted that conferences and seminars are essential for smooth operations of the army.

He then stated that the programme is perhaps the first of its kind initiated by the two division, as it brings together all security chiefs in Oyo state, to rub minds for greater synergy.

The GOC further said: ”we are all aware of security challenges of our time and in spite of these challenges, significant achievement has been made in progressively decimating terrorists’ infrastructure and denying them freedom of action.

He however pointed out that “two division area of responsibility, is replete with pipline vandalism and brazen oil theft, which hampers smooth functioning of our critical infrastructure, leading to wanton destruction of our main means of economic survival.

“Consequently, activities of Niger Delta militants, are being closely monitored in our area of responsibility”.

The Army boss further stressed ”the need therefore for the Nigerian army to be on top of the security situation”, saying that it is of paramount importance.

“In this regard, effective contingency plans and regular collective training are our essential mission critical requirement towards dealing with these multi-faceted challenges which arise in our area of responsibility,” he said.

Also commenting was the Oyo State Commissioner of Police Mr Sam Adegbuyi who was represented by Assistant Commissioner in charge of Operations, Chinedu Oko.

In his remarks, he said there is no agency that can achieve much in isolation, while also underscored the effect that the strategic partnership would have on their operations.

Fishermen Urge FG To Beef Up Security In Calabar

fishermen, FG, CalabarFishermen and traders at the Henshaw beach in Calabar South Local Government Area of Cross River state, are calling on both the state and federal government to strengthen security along the high sea.

This according to them, is in order to prevent them from the daily harassment encountered on the sea by Cameroonian jam-darns.

The request is coming on the heels of series of harassment they have faced, which has in turn hindered them from their fishing activities.

As a result, fish and crayfish have become scarce commodities in recent times in Calabar, the Cross River state capital.

The Henshaw beach town is the major market known for the sale of crayfish, fresh fish, shrimps, snails and other sea-foods.

The market which is usually a beehive of activity as traders travel from within and outside the state to come buy the commodities, has dropped in the patronage level.

The fishermen and traders who have to get around Bakassi area of the high sea put the blame on the insecurity on the waters.

Speaking to Channels Television, they claimed they are usually detained and asked to pay a ransom before they are freed.

They added that in most cases, the money they travel with to purchase goods to bring back for sale, as well as their fishing boats are usually taken away from them.

One of the traders in tears, described her experience as an unfortunate one, while several other victims joined their voices in seeking help from the government.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, said the Navy was not aware of the claims, but promised to look into the matter and extend its security moves to the flash points.

Furthermore, he called on the community to avail security agencies with useful information that would help them in their intelligence gathering, while promising not to disclose the caller’s identity.

The government has also promised that it would continue to partner the Navy and Marine Police with necessary logistics in order to step up their security measures.

State Security Adviser, Jude Ngaji also assured them of the government’s prompt response to tackling the security challenge.

The fishermen and traders on the other hand are hopeful that the promised prompt intervention, would help them return to their businesses as soon as possible.

Militants Kill Soldier In Bakassi Troops Attack

troops of Nigerian army attacked by militantsSuspected militants of the Bakassi Strike Force attacked troops deployed at Efut Esighi waterfront in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State, killing one of them, an official of the army has said.

Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, said the attack happened in the early hours of Saturday.

In a statement, Colonel Usman said the attackers, who came in several speed boats, were led by the ‘declared wanted criminal kingpin’, Benjamin Simplee also referred to as G1, whom he said was the leader of the Bakassi Strike Force.

“During the attack, a soldier was killed in action, while two soldiers were missing in action. They also burnt a buffalo pickup vehicle.

TThe troops have also killed two of the attackers while the rest escaped with gunshot wounds,” Colonel Usman stated.

The army spokesman further stated that the reinforcement sent had found the missing soldiers.

“The troops location has been reinforced with more gunboats and air component. The clearance and pursuit operation is ongoing,” Colonel Usman said.

He also reassured the public that the attack on troops by the militants would not deter them from the discharging their duties in the oil-rich region.

Colonel Usman expressed optimism that the fleeing militants would be found and brought to justice and advised all the criminals in the region that intend to attack any of its locations to have a rethink.

The attack came on a day that the Niger Delta Avengers renewed attacks on oil pipelines, destroying  Bonny crude oil Export Line in Rivers State.

In a statement on its website, the group said it “brought down oil production activities at the Bonny 48 inches crude oil Export Line” through its “strike team”.

The militants said the attack was a “wake up call” for the government, which it accused of intimidating youths in the region since the ceasefire began.

They had earlier announced that they have agreed to ceasefire and make way for negotiation with the Nigerian government.

National Economic Council Approves FG’s Strategies To End Recession

Adeosun, GovernorsThe National Economic Council has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategies to pull the economy out of recession.

This was done during its meeting in Abuja, chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The council of ministers and governors debriefed the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma as well as the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele on the strategies to take the country out of the woods.

Briefing State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting, the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Yetunde Onanuga, said that the Central Bank would henceforth adopt best options to manage the situation.

Other areas of urgent intervention were also agreed upon by the council to immediately inject larger funds into the economy, including meaningful diversification and more stringent importation cuts.

Intervention of affordable housing was also among urgent issues discussed, which the council said a target of one billion naira fund has been set up to create a blended pool of long term funds for housing development finance and mortgage provision aimed at delivering 500,000 housing units annually.

The council commended members of the National Economic Team for their diligence and hard work.

The council’s declaration comes barely 24 hours after the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to reshuffle his cabinet and redeploy the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Budget and National Planning from their present ministries.

Senate-Ike-Ekweremadu
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu

As the Senate began debate on the state of the economy on Wednesday, Ekweremadu said that he was not impressed with the performance of the two ministers and believes they would perform better in other ministries.

Nigeria’s economy had slipped into recession after a report of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the nation’s GDP contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

The report came just as militant activities have resurged in the Niger Delta, causing the revenue of the nation which comes largely from crude oil sales to drop.

The price of crude, which had dropped in the international market, already taking its toll on the nation’s economy was compounded by the attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta.

Negative Growth Since 2012
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had recently said that the country had been in negative growth since 2012 with the hope that it would avoid recession but since the reality of the recession has dawned on the nation, the government was prepared to address it.

Kemi-Adeosun-Minister-of-Finance-Nigeria-on-Economy
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun

She said that the tactical plan of the Nigerian government to address its economic challenges would not change in spite of the official confirmation that the country had gone into a recession.

Mrs Adeosun was the guest of Channels TV’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, September 20, where she explained that the solution to Nigeria’s problem remained the same from years past.

“Our plans haven’t changed. We need to stimulate the economy and we are going to do so largely by redirecting expenditure from recurrent into capital because we believe that capital expenditure will create jobs and create more productivity in the economy in the long run and help us to diversify,” she said.

She maintained that getting out of recession remains dependent on how productive the economy becomes as well as how well it can create jobs. “we’ve got to invest in our capital infrastructure,” she said.

Set To Inject Funds
The Minister had few days earlier said that the government was set to inject an additional 350 billion Naira ($1.1 billion) into the economy and raise $1 billion from Euro-bonds by mid-December to ease the recession.

She had told reporters in Abuja that the additional funding, on top of the initial 420 billion Naira released in May, was primarily for capital expenditure projects that would also involve support from local banks and transaction partners.

“We are raising money. As you know the Euro-bond capital raise is on.

Udoma-Udoma
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma

“We are about to appoint advisers so we we will be raising additional $1 billion.

“Two weeks ago we approved the external borrowing plan and that was very important,” the Minister said.

While local investors feel neglected despite being in greater majority than the foreign investors for which the government is looking to attract back to Nigeria, the Minister for Budget, Senator Udoma Udoma, had reassuring words.

“We are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria and we believe that, working together with the private sector, we must surely transform this economy,” he told businessmen during a quarterly business briefing at the Presidential Villa with private sector stakeholders.

Osinbajo Explains How Militants’ Activities Triggered Nigeria’s Economic Recession

Yemi Osinbajo on economic recession Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says activities of the Niger Delta militants are the reasons the country is in its current state of recession.

Professor Osinbajo believes that no country can lose one million barrels of oil per day without suffering tremendously.

Nigeria’s economy had slipped into recession after a report of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the nation’s GDP contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

The report came just as militant activities have resurged in the Niger Delta, causing the revenue of the nation which comes largely from crude oil sales to drop.

The price of crude, which had dropped in the international market, already taking its toll on the nation’s economy was compounded by the attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta.

Peculiar Circumstances

The Vice President pointed out that Nigeria could only get out of recession by looking at only those solutions that would take full consideration of Nigeria’s peculiar circumstances and composition.

At a quarterly business briefing at the Presidential Villa with private sector stakeholders on Monday, the Vice President said Nigeria could not afford the usual error of generalisation and speculations that would not take the country out of recession.

Kemi-Adeosun-Minister-of-Finance-Nigeria-on-Economy
Finance Minister Mrs Kemi Adeosun
Udoma-Udoma
Minister for Budget Senator Udoma Udoma

The presidential quarterly business forum, which has in attendance the ministers of budget, finance, trade and industry and captains of industries, is part of efforts to tackle headlong, the economic recession.

The Vice President told the gathering that power, security in the Niger Delta region and improved business environment among important things must be addressed in the short term.

Set To Inject Funds

The recession notwithstanding, the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said Nigeria would borrow to pump into the economy for capital projects even as she insisted that interest rates must be reduced.

The Minister had few days ago said the government was set to inject an additional 350 billion Naira ($1.1 billion) into the economy and raise $1 billion from Euro-bonds by mid-December to ease the recession.

She had told reporters in Abuja that the additional funding, on top of the initial 420 billion Naira released in May, was primarily for capital expenditure projects that would also involve support from local banks and transaction partners.

“We are raising money. As you know the Euro-bond capital raise is on.

“We are about to appoint advisers so we we will be raising additional $1 billion.

“Two weeks ago we approved the external borrowing plan and that was very important,” the Minister said.

While local investors feel neglected despite being in greater majority than the foreign investors for which the government is looking to attract back to Nigeria, the Minister for Budget, Senator Udoma Udoma, has reassuring words.

“We are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria and we believe that, working together with the private sector, we must surely transform this economy,” he told the gathering.

U.S. Officials Meet With Stakeholders In Niger Delta To Resolve Crisis

Niger Delta, US GovernmentOfficials of the American Embassy, led by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr David Young, are in Delta State in Nigeria’s south-south for an all-embracing dialogue involving all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.

At a meeting with the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, held in Asaba, the capital of the State, Mr Young said that their visit was part of measures toward finding lasting solutions to the crisis in the region which had crippled oil production.

Addressing reporters after the visit to the Delta State government, Mr Young said that the U.S. government believed that dialogue was very important in resolving grievances and there is a need to encourage Nigerians to exploit mechanisms for dialogue in moving forward.

The Governor of Delta State suggested the creation of an environment that would foster peace and tranquility, adding that the state government have also made efforts to forestall peace in the delta region.


The Niger Delta region encompasses about 8% of Nigeria’s landmass and with oil drilling in the region, the nation’s economy was stimulated.

Numerous multinational corporations also established oil operations in the region with very high stakes.

The activities of the oil companies have caused several environmental and economic issues in the region, leading to militancy in the past.

In recent times, there has been a resurgence of militant activities in the region with new groups taking up arms and attacking oil installations in the region.

A militant group known as Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks on oil-producing facilities causing the shutdown of oil terminals and a fall in Nigeria’s oil production to its lowest level.

Burutai Asks Niger Delta Militants To Speak With One Voice

Army, Tukur Buratai, Niger Delta MilitantsThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Burutai, has asked militants in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria to speak with one voice, if they expect to be taken seriously.

The Army Chief made the call on Monday on the side-line of a closed door meeting with security heads including the police, Department of State Services and representatives of oil companies in south-south Nigeria.

He told journalists in Rivers State that the proliferation of groups, who claim to be Niger Delta militants, do not come across as a genuine move for peace.

General Burutai stated that the “Exercise Crocodile Smile” should not be mistaken for an invasion in the region.

However, he maintained that the army would not hesitate to clamp down on any action that threatens the peace of the Niger Delta.

The call is coming barely two weeks after the Nigerian Army formally launched the new military exercise in the Niger Delta region.

The exercise has a mandate to provide adequate security for residents as well as critical national economic assets in the region.

General Buratai, who flagged-off the exercise in Sapele, Delta State, had urged military personnel to respect the rights of law abiding citizens in their areas of operation whom he said were critical to the success of the exercise.