FLASH| EU Partners FG in Resolving Niger Delta Crisis

by on August 26, 2016

As Federal Government in­creases its efforts aimed at finding lasting solution to the crisis in the Niger Delta that has led to the loss of about 700,000 barrels of crude oil daily, the European Union has indicat­ed interest in partnering with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

This was revealed at meet­ing between the Minister of Ni­ger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani and a delegation from the European Union and the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) led by Michel Arrion.

Expressing his delight at the proposed collaboration, Usani reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government at curb­ing the crisis as part of efforts to sustain the development of the region.

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He lamented that despite the palliative measures put in place by previous administrations to cater to the yearnings of the mili­tants, the crises still persist.

Usani stated that it will be dif­ficult to continue negotiations with militants “if arms are not removed from the region”.

Though the Federal Govern­ment is currently in negotiation with the militants, he stressed that there was the need for an evaluation of the Amnesty Pro­gramme before further head­ways could be made.

The Minister said that “cease­fire doesn’t mean there is an end of war, rather it is to see how we can negotiate on ending the de­struction of the nation’s source of revenue”.

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He stated that even though government is mindful of re­specting human rights in fight­ing militancy, he stressed that the act is a threat to the nation’s ex­istence which should not be tak­en lightly.

Usani added that government “will not give leverage to them to cause more damage to Nige­ria and Nigerians” even though it is limited in its fight due to its respect of national and interna­tional human rights laws.

In his remarks, Arrion said the interest to collaborate on ending the crisis was sparked by the im­portance of the Nigeria in West Africa, stating that the stabili­ty and prosperity of Nigeria are important to the “stability and growth of Europe”.

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