Osibanjo Set To Storm Niger Delta On Monday

By Ikenga Chronicles January 15, 2017

The highest socio-political organisation of the South West, Afenifere seems not to be comfortable with the planned trip of their son, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the Niger Delta Region.

Osinbajo is scheduled to visit Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers State starting from Monday, January 16 —states which have been described by many political analysts as a zone of death because of the rate of militancy exhibited in the region. Osinbajo’s visit will be the second since inauguration of this present administration.

Buhari had last year cancelled at the last minute a visit planned to the oil-producing Niger Delta, which has been hit by a wave of militant attacks. Osinbajo instead visited the restive southern region to launch a clean-up program of Ogoniland, an area badly hit by oil spills without giving a reason for Buhari’s cancellation.

It would have been the first visit of the former military ruler to the Delta since taking office in May 2015.

The Southern Delta swamps have been hit by a series of militant attacks on oil and gas pipelines which have brought Nigeria’s oil output to a 20-year low.

Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group, which has claimed several attacks on Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell facilities,  had on several occasions issued a warning to oil firms that their “facilities and personnel will bear the brunt of our fury”.

The Avengers have accused Buhari of ignoring local problems. Buhari had held talks with leaders in Nigeria’s main oil-producing region to address their grievances, in a bid to stop a surge in pipeline attacks but all amounted to futility.

Osinbajo, during his visit will interact with leaders and representatives of oil producing communities with the aim of finding a solution to the crisis in the area.

Osinbajo’s planned visit was announced by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande in a statement made available to journalists on Saturday.

The statement reads, “In further demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s readiness and determination to comprehensively address the Niger Delta situation, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN, will be visiting a number of oil communities across some Niger Delta States starting on Monday, January 16, 2017, when he travels to Delta State.”

“At a later date to be announced soon, the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo would also be visiting Bayelsa and Rivers States.

“At these visits, the Vice President will lead high-level delegations of the Federal Government that will interact with leaders and representatives of the oil-producing communities in continuation of ongoing outreach efforts of the Buhari administration towards a long lasting and permanent resolution of the Niger Delta crisis.”

“The Buhari presidency is fully committed to having an effective dialogue and positive engagement that will end the crisis in the oil-producing areas, and believes that these visits would further boost the confidence necessary for the attainment of peace and prosperity in the areas and the Nigerian nation in general.”

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