Niger Delta Avengers: Military confrontation could end in disaster – UK

Niger Delta Avengers: Military confrontation could end in disaster – UK

        Philip Hammond, British Foreign Secretary

PARIS, MAY 15, 2016: (DGW) – NIGERIA’s President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to tread the path of confrontation with Niger Delta Avengers with caution by dealing with the root causes of the grievances  instead of military confrontation that could spark off unmitigated disaster, a senior British official said on Saturday.

The oil-rich Niger Delta has been hit by a wave of attacks on oil installations thus reducing Nigeria’s production output by over 30,000 barrels a day.

Reacting to the military reinforcements moved in by President Buhari to hunt down the militants, British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond faulted Buhari’s military approach as nothing but a recipe for disaster.

Said the British Foreign Secretary, “It’s obviously a major concern. The idea that your answer is by moving big chunks of the Nigerian army to the Delta simply doesn’t work.

The idea of military confrontation will not work, ” “It won’t deal with the underlying issues”, he cautioned.

Speaking further,  he said “Buhari has got to show as a president from the north that he is not ignoring the Delta, that he is engaging with the challenges in the Delta.

The militants which are fighting for independence for the Delta have warned oil firms operating in the region to leave within two weeks. Among their demands are a greater share  of oil revenues and an end to oil polution.

Nigeria’s oil production output has been driven to a 22-year low and chances are that further attacks on oil installations in the region could completely cripple output  should it develops to full-blown insurgency in a country facing a growing economic crisis and where over 85% live below the international poverty line of less than $1.25 a day.

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