W HY is the Federal Government finding it difficult to crush the Niger Delta Avengers? I understand that the terrain in the creeks is not really easy to secure, but with a more advanced naval force, the government will defeat the militants. It is so insulting for the militants to be telling the government what they want. I am really against the Federal Government dialoguing with them because they are only reacting to the blockage of their sources of income since the coming of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
This is why I believe that the dialogue option between the government and the militants will not work — here are a group of boys who had fed fat on the nation’s oil sector for a long time. Some of them began earning free money as a result of the amnesty programme initiated by former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and which the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan continued. Some militant leaders got lucrative oil pipeline monitoring contracts worth billions of naira, while some simply continued with their oil bunkering business. Now, when this new government came on board, everything stopped, and that is why they are back in the creeks, destroying oil pipelines.
Some of them have also started disturbing the peace of communities on the coastal line in Lagos and Ogun states; the kidnapping, robbery and raping currently going on in Ikorodu area, and the abduction of a traditional ruler in Iba, Lagos, are testament that the militants have joined another line of ‘business’ since the free money they were getting in the past has stopped.
However, the integrity of President Buhari will never allow him to succumb to the demands of the militants, and that is why I say dialogue will never resolve this crisis.
What I expect the government to do is for it to equip the naval force to be able to curb the activities of the militants, as dialoguing with them will never bring about any solution.
This is the type of issues a sophisticated satellite system should address, but I thought we sent a satellite into space a couple of years ago? That satellite should be able to give signals to a central control command whenever there are movements on the waterways at awkward hours. With this, the navy will be mobilised to respond to such movements and prevent attacks on oil infrastructure. As a result, only technology can help defeat the militants.
- Dr Nugwa Joseph,
Lokoja, Kogi State.