In view of threats by various Niger Delta Militant groups to intensify its economic sabotage on the nation, Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday called for an emergency security meeting at the State House in Abuja.
The meeting which lasted for 5 hours, had in attendance Governors of Oil Producing States, Minister of State For Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu, the Special Adviser on Amnesty Gen B. Boroh, Minister of Defence, Dan Ali, Chief of Defence Staff,Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin,Chief of Army Staff, Lieut. Gen Tukur Buratai and Chief of Naval Staff,Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas
Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the emergency security meeting on behalf of his colleagues, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa said that they received briefings on the situation in the Niger Delta from the Security Chiefs and the Minister Of State, Petroleum Resources.
The governor said there has been an agreement that there would be a stand down of military action in the zone. Okowa said:
“We governors of the oil producing states, security chiefs and ministers who are concerned met with the Vice President and I believe we had a very fruitful meeting.
“One thing we identified which is the synergy between the Federal Government and the States which is very important is that this meeting has raised a lot of issues and we believe that the collaboration will help us to tackle the issues in the Niger Delta.
“Of course, we were briefed by the Service Chiefs and the governors also have their own perspectives along with the Minister of State for Petroleum. We have taken a lot of decisions which will help us mitigate what is going on currently in the states particularly Bayelsa and Delta. We believe we are going to find a solution to it.
“One of such is that there is a need for us to share intelligence which is very important and for us to be proactive, working together with the various stakeholders in the states to achieve a better result going forward.
“We have also agreed that there is a need to distill military operations by helping communities where the military needs to actually remain on our waterways to ensure that we adequately man the waterways itself while we engage the communities and that engagement will start any moment from now.
“Right from today, there is a meeting right after this and we are going to be collaborating even as we return to our various states.”
Asked when asked if the emergency security meeting contemplated tampering with the amnesty programme, Okowa said:
“I don’t think the amnesty has been put to a stop. I think the process is still ongoing, we have a Special Adviser in charge of amnesty and he is doing very well. I am aware that he did come in to talk with some of the communities and along with the advocacy team that was put up in Delta state. He did brief us today and I believe amnesty is going to be maintained.”