Nigeria: Federal Govt, military chiefs, governors in united action against militant attacks in Niger Delta

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – The Nigerian Presidency pm Tuesday said that the federal government and Governors of the Niger Delta states have started developing a common and united strategy to deal with the recent resurgent militant attacks on the nation's oil installations.

The meeting, held Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja and presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was attended by Governors from Niger Delta States, three Federal ministers and military service chiefs behind closed doors to discuss the situation.

The meeting 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.

A statement released at the end of the meeting by the spokesman of the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, said it was summoned on the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is in London for medical treatment.

It said that the meeting worked on forging “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.”

The statement noted that the Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa told journalists that there was general agreement “on the need for synergy between the federal and the state governments as a very important step going forward.

"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 disclosed 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,” he said.

Asked by the press about the fate of the amnesty programme, Governor Okowa noted that the Presidential Adviser on the Amnesty Programme briefed the meeting and stated that the programme was actually still ongoing.

He added: “We have a Special Adviser in charge of Amnesty and he is doing a lot of work.”
-0- PANA MON/AR 7June2016

07 june 2016 19:18:08

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