President Muhammadu Buhari has described threats by the Niger Delta Avengers to attack oil installations in the south-south region as “unnecessary”.
The militant group, in a statement on Saturday, announced the launch of a new mission to resume attacks in the oil rich region, claiming the south-south remains the most underdeveloped region in the country.
However, in a statement released by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari said all issues raised by the group were already responded to when the president met with the leadership of the Niger Delta and Ijaw National Congress (INC), at the Presidential Villa on Thursday.
Adesina further quoted Buhari saying issues such as the call for restructuring and the inauguration of a board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were all addressed during the meeting.
Buhari added that the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, under the ministry of environment, is working to make sure that oil spills are reduced and new ones prevented.
“It is curious that the threat was coming less than 48 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari met with the leadership of the Niger Delta and Ijaw National Congress (INC), at the Presidential Villa, and the germane issues had been responded to, especially call for restructuring of the Federation, and the inauguration of a Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),” the statement read.
“I am equally concerned about the rate of environmental degradation in the Niger Delta and as you are aware the HydroCarbon Pollution Remediation Project has started work with remediation efforts in Ogoni land and I have directed the Minister of Environment to ensure that the projects are implemented with a high percentage of local content and inclusion of the surrounding communities.
“In addressing your call for immediate restructuring, the National Assembly whose responsibility it is to ensure that our constitution responds to the call for a restructured Nigeria, has already concluded regional consultations and as soon as they finalise the process, necessary action would not be delayed on my part,” the statement added.
“On the issue of fair and balanced appointments to reflect federal character principles, I re-affirm that this has always been my focus and would continue to be because I have always seen Nigeria as a country where everyone should be given equal opportunities.
“I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board would be inaugurated. However, I would like to implore you that the Ijaw National Congress should play a more active role in making sure that the mismanagement that occurred in the past is not repeated,” the statement read.