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FG woos states, communities in bid to tackle militancy

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The Federal Government has agreed to work out a common and united strategy with states in the Niger Delta and oil production host communities in tackling the recent resurgent militant attacks on the nation’s oil installations.

This was the outcome of a meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting was attended by the governors of Delta, Bayelsa, Ondo, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Abia and the Deputy Governor of Cross River State. Also in attendance were all the service chiefs and the Minister of Defence, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs.

According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, the federal government is proceeding on a collaborative strategy with the governments, communities in the Niger Delta region and other relevant stakeholders towards tackling the situation holistically.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, who briefed State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, was quoted as saying that the meeting identified the need for synergy between the federal and the state governments as a very important step going forward.

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Speaking further on the collaboration, Governor Okowa said: “One thing that we have identified is that synergy between the federal government and states is very important and this meeting has actually revealed a lot of issues and we believe that the collaboration between the Federal Government and States would help us to tackle the issues in the Niger Delta”

He also revealed that a lot of decisions were taken at the meeting after they were briefed by Service Chiefs.

He said: “We have taken a lot of decisions which we think will help us to mitigate what is going on currently in the states, particularly in Delta and Bayelsa. We are going to find a solution very soon”.

He also disclosed that the meeting agreed that military presence in the region should be de-escalated, but kept to provide security and presence while government begins immediate engagement process with the communities in the affected areas.

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