The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has expressed government’s disappointment at the spate of attacks on Forcados export pipeline by armed militant groups despite the ongoing dialogue with leaders of the region.
The Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, the militant group that has claimed responsibility for most attacks on oil facilities in the region in recent times, said it carried out another attack on the Forcados Export Pipeline in Delta State on Tuesday night.
The attack was the third on the facility since Niger Delta leaders met with President Muhammadu Buhari on November 1 in Abuja to find lasting solutions to the crisis in the region.
The NDA had said it attacked the facility “to further stress that we don’t appreciate the repairs of blown pipelines” in the Niger Delta region.
But, Mr. Kachikwu, who expressed “grave concern and disappointment” about the attacks, urged the perpetrators to give peace a chance, as consultations were ongoing to provide solutions to the crisis in the region.
Mr. Kachikwu said he was “saddened that despite months of intensive personal and collective efforts to engage all stakeholders and despite the recent success in convening a meeting with His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari to begin exploring the opportunities for deepening the dialogue, that these attacks have continued.”
He condemned the attacks, pointing out that the path to providing lasting solutions for the Niger Delta challenges remained dialogue.
He appealed to all interested stakeholders in the Niger Delta to embrace peace and dialogue and shun acts that would create difficulties for the country, impoverish and worsen the ecological problems of the region.
Urging all militant groups to stop and give the ensuing dialogue a chance to birth peace in the region, Mr. Kachikwu appealed to leaders in and outside Niger Delta to join hands with the government to find a lasting solution to this problem.