FG, N/Delta Militants Agree ‘Temporary’ Ceasefire

The federal government and militant groups in the Niger Delta, including the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have reportedly agreed to a 30-day ceasefire.

This is to give President Muhammadu Buhari time to come up with a comprehensive plan for the oil-rich region, reports claimed.

Both parties were said to have reached a truce last week when a federal government team led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and representatives of the militant groups, community leaders and the state government met in Bayelsa and Delta states.

A source who opened up on the 30-day period of truce claimed that Kachikwu reached out to the militants through back channels and pleaded for some time for the Buhari administration to come up with a comprehensive Niger Delta plan that would address most of their demands.

According to the source, the militant groups accepted Kachikwu’s plea.

“You would have noticed that there have been no bombings of oil assets in recent days. This is the fall out of the 30 days of quiet reached with the minister and his team.

“This will give the president time to come up with a comprehensive plan for the Niger Delta,” the source,” he said.

The source listed some of the demands of the Niger Delta militants to include, greater control of the hydrocarbon resources in their communities, improved funding for the Amnesty Programme, clean-up of oil producing communities in the Niger Delta that had been devastated by oil exploration activities, and funding for the Maritime University, among others.

He added that the problem with respect to the Maritime University stemmed from the fact that no funding was provided for the institution in the 2016 budget by Chibuike Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, whose ministry superintends the university.

Prior to the 30-day period of truce, the federal government had ordered a 2-week ceasefire, asking the military to withdraw its troops, fighter jets and battleships that had been deployed in the region to flush out the militants.

The Avengers has claimed responsibility for series of attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta region in recent months.

Their activities is said to have impacted negatively on power supply in the country and halved Nigeria’s oil production to some 1.4 million barrels per day.

Last week, the federal government reached out to the militants as Kachikwu led a government delegation to different camps in Bayelsa and Delta states.

They visited the temporary site of the Maritime University at Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South local government area of Delta state, in a bid to reach out to representatives of the militant groups to get them to stop its attacks on oil and gas facilities.

However, the NDA denied meeting with Kachikwu last week. The group said whoever met with the federal government delegation was not their representative.

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