*As Buhari speaks on intention behind N’Delta militants’ bombings of oil installations
*Says some militants are mere extortionists but solution in sight
By Our Reporter
The giant strides that President has made in tackling the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East of Nigeria have been applauded by government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Speaking during his visit to the President at the State House, Abuja, yesterday, Germany’s Foreign Minister, Dr Frank-Walters Steinmeier, expressed the goodwill of his country about the leadership style of President Buhari with particular mention of the strides taken by him against insurgents. He said Germany was happy to hear of those strides.
Steinmeier added that Germany was equally willing to lend a helping hand in resolving the crisis in the Niger Delta.
Dr. Steinmeier, who also applauded the administration’s ongoing war against corruption, said the Nigeria’s effort to ward off corruption had his country’s support, adding that Germany was also interested in investing in renewable energy, gas exploration, mining, among others, to boost Nigeria’s economy.
“Germany will support development in Nigeria. We want closer cooperation on migration issues, urbanization, and supporting the navy with equipment, training and intelligence,” the Foreign Minister said.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari told his visitor that the intention of the Niger Delta militants allegedly behind the frequent bombings and destruction of oil and gas installation in the oil producing region was to colonise Nigeria economically.
He said this even as he solicited the help of Germany to curb oil theft in Nigeria through assistance in the areas of equipment, training, and sharing of intelligence with the Nigeria Navy.
“Nigeria’s oil is stolen and taken away through the Gulf of Guinea. Adequate training and equipping of our Navy will prevent this,” the President said.
He told the visiting minister that the security challenge in the North East of the country was under control, with Boko Haram largely defeated.
He, however, said: “But another serious form of insecurity has reared its head in the Niger Delta. The objective is to colonize the country economically by sabotaging oil and gas installations.
“We are trying to speak with their leaders, to know how many groups they are, and we are also working with the oil companies.
“The militants engage in sophisticated sabotage, using skills they had gained from trainings either by government, or the oil companies, to vandalize installations deep in the sea.
“We need to understand who the real agitators are, and engage with them, so that confidence can be restored in the region.”
President Buhari said the Niger Delta situation was more complex, since the militants had no central command, adding that some of them were mere extortionists.
He, however, promised that a solution would be found to the unrest soon.