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‘Be patient with us’ — FG begs Niger Delta militants

The federal government has asked the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to be patient with it.

The government said this in reaction to a threat by the militants to resume attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking with state house correspondents in Abuja on Monday, Usani Uguru, minister of Niger Delta affairs, said the government is committed to doing whatever it needs to do — “and can do” — to sustain peace in the region.

“My message is not just verbal but it has been demonstrated by the fact at all times. We have been appealing with them to just be patient with us, because, most of the time, the issues that are brought up are those that tend to portray the quest for development of the region,” he said

“And that is all we have been doing to say, patiently with us, these issues raised genuinely to the benefits of people of the region are being attended to.

“For instance, the Okerekoko University, you are aware that the vice-president has directed that that University must take off. And he also directed that a minimum of N5 billion be budgeted for the take off of the university so, it’s a matter of patience knowing that some of these things have a procedure.

“So it will not be because it did not happen the way they wanted, so it will not happen. Everything has a phase of planning and a phase of execution.”

While commending the commitment shown by the various parties in the militants’ peace accord with the government, Uguru said the government would wish that such commitment to restoring peace in the region continues.

“We would advise all of us to remain calm and see the things that we agitated for coming little by little,” he said.

He said the claims by the militants that the government had failed to keep its promises were false.

“I just talked about the University. The other issue is the communities being part of surveillance of the petroleum infrastructure in the region,” he said.

“And of course you know that by the modular refineries which they had also talked about as sub-sect of how they can be engaged instead of what is called illegal refineries, they are also on, because the process of building a refinery or even getting the necessary procedures to establish such is not just a one day business.”

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