Friday, 11 November 2016

Niger Delta: Nigerian Govt Sets Up Committee To Recover Illegal Arms, Curtail Bombings And Pipeline Vandalization

The Federal Government of Nigeria has set up a special committee to recover illegal weapons and curtail the spate of pipeline vandalization, bombings and illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region.

The committee, under the office of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and is to liaise with the Office of the National Security Adviser, is to work with critical stakeholders in the region as well as security agencies to ensure the success of the programme.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, Coordinator of the programme, Mr Tikari T. Y. Danjuma, said the programme, named Niger Delta Riverine Protection Programme, was part of initiatives of the Federal Government to address several years of neglect of the region and check the spate of violence there.

He said: “To consolidate on the peace process initiated by Mr. President, the Federal Government, through the office of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, has set up the Niger Delta Riverine Protection Programme. The programme is aimed at driving further the peace process initiated by the Federal Government.

“Part of the mandate of this programme is to recover illegal arms and ammunition in the region; ensure adequate protection of Federal Government assets and curtail the incidence of illegal refineries in the region.”
He said the Niger Delta region was in ‘dire need of development, both in terms of its human capital and physical infrastructure.

According to him, this could be achieved in an atmosphere of lawlessness, violence and anarchy, saying ‘’Since government has expressed its willingness to correct the ills of the past that previous governments had visited on our people and our region, it behooves on us as a people to give all necessary cooperation to make our region great and guarantee a better future for our children.’

He disclosed that in the next few days, his committee would be meeting with ‘critical stakeholders in the region to unveil detailed programmes of activities of the committee.

While calling on individuals and groups in the region in possession of illegal arms to cooperate and surrender them, Danjuma said details of how this would be handled would be worked out and made public soon.
The Coordinator said: “We also wish to appeal to those who have resorted to the destruction of pipelines and other national assets in the region to desist from these acts forthwith. ‘Experience has shown that though government may be losing revenue from the actions of those destroying pipelines, our people are the ones that suffer the consequences of such actions as their environment are polluted and their means of livelihood destroyed.

‘’Our people can no longer continue to suffer the double jeopardy of being neglected by government and made to suffer environmental degradation as a result of the activities of those destroying pipelines in the name of agitation. Destruction is antithetical to development.”

Culled from: Vanguard Newspaper