21 May 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Chief of Naval Staff to reorganise and strengthen the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta to deal effectively with the resurgence of militancy and the sabotage of oil installations.
Buhari, during a recent visit to China, warned that militants and individuals who damage oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta region would “be given the same treatment like Boko Haram.”
A statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, on Friday, said Buhari gave the assurance at a meeting with the Global Director (Upstream) of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Mr. Andrew Brown.
The president assured oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Federal Government was taking all necessary actions to protect strategic assets in the region from vandals and criminals.
The president told Brown that the operations of the JTF were also being enhanced with increased support and cooperation from the United States and Europe in the areas of training, intelligence, equipment and logistics.
“We have to be very serious with the situation in the Niger Delta because it threatens the national economy. I assure you that everything possible will be done to protect personnel and oil assets in the region,” Buhari said.
The president further urged aggrieved persons, militants and communities in the Niger Delta to drop their confrontational stance and work with those who had been charged by the Federal Government to review the Amnesty Programme initiated by the Yar’Adua Administration for the benefit of all parties.