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Monday, 6 November 2017

FG, Okowa urge Avengers to be patient

The federal government on Monday called for patience from militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers' urging them not to carry out the threat to resume suspended "Operation Red Economy.

This was the same call in Asaba, Delta State from the governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who asked the group to hold fire and give more time for negotiations and the implementation of their demands before further violence.

Their planned action is intended to cripple oil production over perceived government's indifference to development of the region.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, made the appeal after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, where he briefed on the happenings in the region.

He assured the Avengers that already some of the requests of the region have been attended to while efforts were on to address all their grievances.

Usani said: "So, it is 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."

The minister who said though the Avengers' threat was not part of the discussions he had with President Buhari, because Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who chairs the committee has been keeping him up to date, added that some of the agreements reached during consultation with stakeholders from the region were being implemented.

On whether the fresh threats by the Avengers in the Niger Delta, was part of the discussions, he said, "Well, we haven't discussed the Avengers per se but it is of essence as the President has always shown indication that whatever we need to and can do to sustain peace in the region, we would continue to do it.

"And of course, the benefit of that, you are aware that the Vice President has been chairing the committee that handles the issues they are raising.

"And so, while that goes on operationally, headed by the Vice President's position in the committee, the President just needs to be briefed on our efforts though we know that the Vice President is briefing him from time to time but as per the Avengers issue, it was not discussed.

"On a general note, it is understood that we have to be engaged to be able to sustain the peace that prevailed for a while."
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