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President Buhari To Visit Niger Delta This Week
Views: 348  |  Comments: 0 |  Posted: 12:07 Tue, 31 May 2016
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Posted on: 12:07 Tue, 31 May 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari will
this week make his first visit as
president to Nigeria’s oil-producing
south, which has been riven by an
upsurge in violence from militants,
his office said Tuesday.

Attacks on pipelines and other
infrastructure have cut Nigeria’s oil
production to some 1.4 million
barrels per day, exacerbating
revenue shortfalls caused by the
global slump in crude prices.

But a media aide to Buhari said the
president would travel to
Ogoniland in Rivers state to flag off
a long-awaited clean-up of the
area, which has been affected by
oil spills.

“All things being equal, the
president will be in Ogoniland on
Thursday for the historic clean up
of the area,” the aide told AFP.

In August 2011, a United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP)
report said Ogoniland may require
the world’s biggest-ever clean-up.

Environmental devastation to
farming and fishing in the area has
for many come to symbolise the
tragedy of Nigeria’s vast but
squandered oil wealth.

Decades of crude production filled
the pockets of powerful government
officials and generated huge profits
for oil majors but corruption and
spills left the people with nothing.

Neglect and pollution fanned local
resentment and anger, prompting
militant groups to take up arms
against the government in the

Attacks on oil facilities and
personnel were frequent.

The violence was ended in 2009
when the government introduced
an amnesty programme. But a new
group calling itself the Niger Delta
Avengers has renewed attacks since
the beginning of the year.

Sporadic bombings of key pipelines
run by Nigerian subsidiaries of
Anglo-Dutch group Shell, US firm
Chevron and Italy’s Eni, as well as
the Nigerian National Petroleum

On Monday evening, the group
warned in an email and in a
statement on its website that more
devastating attacks were to come.

“To the international oil companies
and indigenous oil companies, it’s
going to be bloody this time
around,” it said.

Buhari said on Sunday he would
keep and “re-engineer” the
amnesty, apparently reversing
previous policy to wind-down the
programme by 2018.
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