Fresh recession looms over Niger Delta militants’ attacks

Fresh recession looms over Niger Delta militants’ attacks

As tension mounts in the Niger Delta over the move by militants to resume attacks on oil facilities, there is the fear that the country may soon relapse into recession. To avert this fresh economic crisis, the Federal Government has been advised to dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and restructure the country.

The government has also been cautioned against a mass deployment of soldiers on the waterways of the Niger Delta amid the growing tension just as the militants have been urged to embrace peace and negotiation.

A former president of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Kimse Okoko, told The Guardian that it was frustrating to see successive governments pretend as if they did not know what was wrong with the Niger Delta and the demands of the region over the years.

Okoko explained that it was government’s insincerity over the legitimate demands of the people of the area that was responsible for the fresh threat by the NDA.

“At this stage, they must restructure this country along the line of a true federal system before the next election. This country has to be restructured, otherwise they (militants) will start their activities and this government will not be able to satisfy their demand and effectively run the economy.

“Let the federating units manage their resources. Since the discovery of oil, the Niger Delta has been left out. If you go to the creeks, we are just as bare as before, no drinking water, no nothing.

“Until we restructure this country, militants will continue to do what they want to do. In as much as I am not in support of blowing up pipelines, we are going to suffer at the end. But all the same, let the Federal Government be sincere enough. The problems of the Niger Delta are not about the establishment of a maritime university or giving oil blocks to persons; the economic wellbeing of the people must improve,” he said.

The Chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Joint National Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Chika Onuegbu, observed that if the militants carry out fresh attacks, the country could relapse into recession.

Guardian

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