Tuesday, 7 June 2016

FG Orders Immediate Withdrawal Of Troops From Niger Delta

The Nigerian government has ordered the immediate withdrawal of troops from communities in the Niger Delta region, amid allegations of a heavy-handed military response to renewed attacks on oil and gas installations in the area.

The decision was taken at a meeting between Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, governors from states in the Niger Delta region, some ministers and service chiefs. The minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, had on Monday announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a two-week cessation of military offensive in the Niger Delta region, to enable the government dialogue with the militants.

 Speaking to journalists after Tuesday’s meeting, Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, said, “We have also agreed that there is a need to distill military operations directly in communities, but the military need to actually remain on our waterways to ensure that we adequately man the waterways itself while we engage the communities and that engagement process is starting any moment from now”.
“We have taken a lot of decisions which will help us mitigate what is going on currently in the states particularly Bayelsa and Delta. One of such is that there is a need for us to share intelligence which is very important and for us to be proactive, working together with the various stakeholders in the states to achieve a better resultgoing forward,” he said.

He said the decision of withdrawing the troops took was to begin immediately.