Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is set to commence a mediation tour of States in the Niger Delta region as part of efforts at bringing the crisis there under control.
Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assiatant on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
Akande said the Vice President will commence the tour from Delta State on Monday, where he is expected to visit a number of oil producing communities, “in further demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s readiness and determination to comprehensively address the Niger Delta situation.”
“At a later date to be announced soon, the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo would also be visiting Bayelsa and Rivers States,” the statement added.
The vice presidential spokesman stated that “at these visits, the Vice President will lead high-level delegations of the Federal Government that will interact with leaders and representatives of the communities in continuation of ongoing outreach efforts of the Buhari administration towards a long lasting and permanent resolution of the Niger Delta crisis.”
Akande also assured Nigerians that President Buhari “is fully committed to having an effective dialogue and positive engagement that will end the crisis in the oil-producing areas.”
According to him, the presidency “believes that these visits would further boost the confidence necessary for the attainment of peace and prosperity in the areas and the Nigerian nation in general.”
Recall that a delegation of leaders and stakeholders from the oil-rich Niger Delta region had met with President Buhari in 2016 where they presented to him the grievances of youths of the area that had led to renewed destruction of oil and gas infrastructure in the region.
Oil pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as well as other international oil companies, have been blown up in various locations in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.
The development also led not only to loss of lives on the part of the militants and security operatives, but also huge loss of revenue for Nigeria, which depend largely on the sale of crude oil in order to earn foreign exchange.