By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented that Niger Delta militants were deploying high-tech technology to destroy oil installations.
Speaking after breaking fast with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Buhari appealed to members of his party who had friends among the militants to talk to them.
Buhari said: “I honestly don’t know how many factions the militants are in the Niger Delta compared to the north east where you have the Boko Haram
“The technology being deployed by the militants to destroy oil installations is high tech, the way they can go on high sea and international waters and target oil installations is a national problem. It is affecting development.
“No insurance company will want to insure installations that will end up being blown up and no banks will want to finance such installations.
“Those of you who have friends among the leadership or even the militants themselves should plead with them in the name of God Almighty to take it easy.
“We need to stabilise to create employment, we need to stabilise the economy etc. I agonise over these things.
“We are in a very difficult time, so we have to organise ourselves. Anybody that says he has any other country than Nigeria should go out and see.”
The president also said that the successful conduct of the APC primaries in Edo State had given him a new hope.
He said that Ondo State was being watched very closely in order to ensure that the vote of the people counted.
Earlier, the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun had told the president that the party was pleased with what he had accomplished so far and the strong leadership he had given the country.
While admitting that the nation was going through tough and difficult time with multitude of challenges, Odigie-Oyegun said change would not come cheap or easily.
“Any meaningful development requires strong and determined leader. Things must change. Those things don’t come easily. Nigeria is clearly a difficult nation to govern,” he said.
Apart from the party chairman, other party leaders who attended the event included former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Naaba; the party’s Deputy National Chairman (South), Segun Oni; and former Bayelsa State Governor, Timipre Sylva among others.
Also present were Chief Tony Momoh, Osita Izunaso.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal and former Minister of Labour, Hassan Lawal were also in attendance.