New militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, which continues to wreak havoc on the economy by attacking oil pipelines, has denied meeting with the minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachikwu. The group said that reports claiming that any such meeting held are false and that anyone claiming to have represented it is a “political jobber”.
Kachikwu was in Delta state on Thursday trying to find a solution to the renewed attacks by the militants which has seen Nigeria’s crude oil production and power generation capacity badly affected. He attended a meeting with stakeholders from the state in attendance. Among those present were the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, chairman of the Delta Waterways and Land Security Committee, Chief Boro Opudu, Commissioner Mofe Pirah, who is in charge of Oil and Gas and Mr. David Tonwe, a senior aide to the governor on security.
Others at the meeting were Chief Godspower Gbenekama, Chief Daniel Ekpebide, who represented Gbaramatu kingdom. Chief Ayiri Emami representative of Itsekiri ethnic group, while Chief Michael Johnny, an Okerenkoko leader, who with Emami, had been very vocal against the NDA, were also at the meeting.
In all, the stakeholders agreed on the need for peace to reign and the militants to stop bombing pipelines. No statement was made afterward by the minister or any of the other stakeholders present.
Kachikwu was also at the site of the proposed Maritime University in Okerenkeko. The university which is a project under the ministry of transportation was the subject of a heated debate between Kachikwu and his cabinet colleague, Rotimi Amaechi, the transport minister, at a town hall meeting which held last week in Akwa Ibom state.
Amaechi said the university project has been suspended because N13 billion was used just to acquire land for the project. He said it will only be renewed if the EFCC can recover the money. Kachikwu however was of the opinion that projects sited in the region should be completed irrespective of the circumstances surrounding them.