Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has expressed concern and disappointment over the recent pipeline attacks by militants in the Niger Delta region.
There have been three attacks in the last two weeks despite efforts being made for dialogue between the Federal Government and citizens from the region.
Kachikwu, who hails from the region, said he was saddened by the developments in the area despite months of intensive personal and collective efforts to engage all stakeholders in the Niger Delta. The minister, in a statement issued by the spokesperson of his ministry, Mr. Idang Alibi, on Friday in Abuja, said the bombings by militants still occurred despite the recent success in convening a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, which aimed at exploring the opportunities for deepening the dialogue.
He condemned the wanton attacks and reiterated that the path to providing lasting solution to the Niger Delta challenges was through dialogue.
Kachikwu appealed and enjoined all interested stakeholders in the Niger Delta to embrace the path of peace and dialogue and shun acts that further create difficulties for the country, impoverish the region and worsen the ecological problems of communities in the affected states.
He urged all militant groups to stop the attacks and give the ensuing dialogue a chance to birth peace in the region.
The petroleum minister, however, stated that as distraught as he and most ministers from the Niger Delta region were with the unfortunate incidents, they would not give up, but would continue to work under the mandate of the President to see how to solve the challenges in the region.
The PUNCH had reported that gunmen suspected to be militants on Tuesday attacked a team of an oil servicing firm, F & A Logistics Construction Company, which was carrying out repair work on the recently bombed Trans-Forcados export line around the Batan community in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.