Minister urges arms removal before dialogue with militants
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Uguru Usani Uguru has said that negotiations with militants would be difficult without removal of arms from the region.
He also called for a review of the Presidential Amnesty Programme before negotiations can make a headway.
Uguru spoke yesterday in Abuja while receiving a European Union delegation led by Michael Arrion in his office.
According to a statement signed by Director of Press in the ministry, Mashall Gundu, the delegation was on a visit to partner the ministry to find a more effective and lasting solution to the recurring crises in the Niger Delta region.
“This is in recognition of the huge impact the destruction of oil and gas installations by militants in the region has had on the economy and lives of Nigerians,” the statement read.
Uguru, who was delighted at the proposed collaboration, reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to tackle the crises as parts of efforts to sustain development of the region. He lamented that despite the palliative measures put in place by previous administrations to cater to the yearnings of the militants, the crises still persist.
He stated that it would be difficult to continue negotiations with the militants “if arms are not removed from the region”. He stressed the need to evaluate the Amnesty Programme before further headways could be made.
“Ceasefire doesn’t mean there is an end of war, rather it is to see how we can negotiate on ending the destruction of the nation’s source of revenue,” the minister noted.