President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday pleaded with Niger Delta militants to soft pedal on the bombing and destruction of oil and gas installations.
He asked those close to the militants to prevail on them to take it easy in the interest of the nation. Buhari made the call during the breaking of fast with All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“I honestly don’t know how many factions the militants are in the Niger Delta compared to the Northeast where you have Boko Haram,” he said. “The technology being deployed by the militants to destroy oil installations is high tech.The way they can go on high sea and international waters and target oil installations is a national problem. It is affecting development.
“No insurance company will want to insure installations that will end up being blown up and no banks will want to finance such installations. “Those of you who have friends among the leadership or even the militants themselves should plead with them in the name of God Almighty to take it easy. “We need to stabilize to create employment. We need to stabilize the economy etc. I agonize over these things. “We are in a very difficult time, so we have to organize ourselves. Anybody that says he has any other country than Nigeria should go out and see.”
The President also said that the successful conduct of the APC primaries in Edo State has given him a new hope. He said that Ondo State is going to be watched very closely in order to ensure that the vote of the people count. The APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun welcomed the President back from his medical vacation abroad. He also expressed satisfaction with what the President has been able to achieve in a short time. He said: “Corruption is fighting back and change does not come easily.
The way we do things must change. Our prayer is for God to give you the courage, wisdom and strength to set the new standard for the country. Present at the dinner were former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, APC Deputy National Chairman (South),Dr. Segun Oni, Mr.Tony Momoh, Senator Osita Ozinaso, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, former Minister of Labour, Hassan Lawal, former Speaker of House of Representative, Ghali Naaba, and former Bayelsa State governor Timipre Sylva.