07 June 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday summoned an emergency security meeting at the State House in Abuja to develop a common and united strategy to deal with the resurgent militant attacks on the nation’s oil installations.
The meeting had in attendance all Governors of oil producing States, all the four Service Chiefs, Minister of Defence, Dan Ali, the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Pastor Usani Uguru UsaniMinister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachichuwu, the Special Adviser on Amnesty Programme, Gen. Boroh amongst others.
The governors included Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Olusegun Mimiko( Ondo); Seriaki Dickson (Bayelsa); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).
Also, the Service Chiefs at the meeting included Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin,Chief of Army Staff, Lieut. Gen Tukur Buratai and Chief of Naval Staff,Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, which lasted over two hours, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa disclosed 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.
Okowa said the meeting identified the need for synergy between the federal and the state governments as a very important step going forward.
Elaborating on the collaboration, Governor Okowa said, “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.
He said, “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. We are going to find a solution very soon.”
Okowa added that it was 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.
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, “I don’t think the amnesty has been put to a stop. I think the process is still ongoing, we have a Special Adviser in charge of amnesty and he is doing very well. I am aware that he did come in to talk with some of the communities and along with the advocacy team that was put up in Delta state. He did brief us today and I believe amnesty is going to be maintained.”
He further disclosed that all the Service Chiefs briefed the meeting on the security situation in the region.