- Security in Niger Delta tops agenda
- Military may be restrained
Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo Tuesday held an emergency security meeting at the State House in Abuja.
The meeting had in attendance all Governors of oil producing States, all the four Service Chiefs, Minister of Defence, Dan Ali, Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachichuwu, the Special Adviser on Amnesty Programme, Gen. Boroh amongst others.
The governors included Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Olusegun Mimiko( Ondo); Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).
Also, the Service Chiefs at the meeting included Chief of Defence Staff,Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin,Chief of Army Staff, Lieut. Gen Tukur Buratai and Chief of Naval Staff,Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas.
Held at the conference room of the Acting President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the meeting which started at about 10am lasted to 3pm.
Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting on behalf of his colleagues, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa said that they received briefings on the situation in the Niger Delta from the Security Chiefs and the Minister of State for Petroleum.
The governor said that there would be a stand down of military action in the zone.
He said that the outcome of the meeting which extensively sought collaboration with the states would be implemented immediately.
He said: “We governors of the oil producing states, security chiefs and ministers who are concerned met with the Vice President and I believe we had a very fruitful meeting.
“One thing we identified which is the synergy between the Federal Government and the States which is very important is that this meeting has raised a lot of issues and we believe that the collaboration will help us to tackle the issues in the Niger Delta.
“Of course, we were briefed by the Service Chiefs and the governors also have their own perspectives along with the Minister of State for Petroleum.
“We have taken a lot of decisions which will help us mitigate what is going on currently in the states particularly Bayelsa and Delta. We believe we are going to find a solution to it.
“One of such is that there is a need for us to share intelligence which is very important and for us to be proactive, working together with the various stakeholders in the states to achieve a better result going forward.
“We have also agreed that there is a need to distill military operations by helping communities where the military needs to actually remain on our waterways to ensure that we adequately man the waterways itself while we engage the communities and that engagement will start any moment from now.
“Right from today, there is a meeting right after this and we are going to be collaborating even as we return to our various states”
Asked when the amnesty programme would be revisited, Okowa said it was still ongoing.
“I don’t think the amnesty has been put to a stop. I think the process is still ongoing, we have a Special Adviser in charge of amnesty and he is doing very well. I am aware that he did come in to talk with some of the communities and along with the advocacy team that was put up in Delta state. He did brief us today and I believe amnesty is going to be maintained”, he said.
Also Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomole also supported the briefing by Okowa.