•Governors to meet with Osinbajo June 7

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike assured yesterday of the readiness of South-South governors to assist in fishing out pipeline bombers in the area.

He promised that nobody will be shielded from the military operations against the Niger Delta militants sabotaging the nation’s economy.

He said Niger Delta governors were opposed to the use of violence to settle grievances, adding that the governors will be meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on June 7 to proffer solutions to the security situation in the region.

Wike spoke yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, when he received Nigeria’s military high command, led by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin.

With Gen. Olonisakin were Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. There were many GOCs, FOCs and AOCs, that accompanied them.

The Rivers governor said: “What is happening affects our state revenue. We shall help the military to fish out militants blowing up oil pipelines in the region.

“As a government, we cannot support economic sabotage. What is going on is economic sabotage. Production is being negatively affected, with the revenue of states dwindling .

“There are ways to channel grievances and it is wrong to do what will negatively affect the people of the region.”

Wike also stated that the Rivers government was worried about the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta, stressing that it had been negatively affecting development in the crude oil and gas-rich region.

While lauding the military officers for the sacrifice they had been making in providing security for most parts of Rivers state, Wike urged the military to work towards improving security in Ahoada East, Ahoada West, Abua/Odual and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Areas of Rivers state.

The chief of defence staff said the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta was of serious concern to the military.

Gen. Olonisakin said: “Recent activities of the militants have led to the sabotage of oil and gas infrastructure.”

The chief of defence staff also stated that the country’s economy was being threatened by the resurgent militancy, hence the need to stop the insecurity in the Niger Delta region.

He urged the Rivers governor to reach out to his colleagues in the Niger Delta to resolve the conflicts in the region.

Gen. Olonisakin said the top military officers were in the Niger Delta to interface with the leadership of the Operation Polo Shield and other service commanders, on how to put an end to criminality in the region and protect the nation’s economy from total collapse.


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