Niger Delta Avengers: Britain backs military option … says investments in Niger Delta must be protected


By; Niyi Ogungbola, Abeokuta.
The British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has supported the military option as a mean to tackle the resurgence of militancy and other criminality in the Oil – rich Niger Delta region.
New Nigerian recalled that some weeks ago Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), an armed militant group, and other violent youth organisations have taken to blowing-up oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta area to the harsh hurting of the nation’s economy and supply of electricity.
This necessitated the Federal Government’s deployment of troops to the areas to stop the destruction of national economic assets and spate of sabotage being perpetrated by the region’s restive youths.
The British Commissioner, Arkwright therefore said there is the need to protect the investments, not just the British companies and international companies operating there, but also Nigerian companies from acts of criminality going – on in the region.
He stated this Thursday during an interview with reporters in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, shortly after his courtesy visit to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo.
Arkwright also advocated for dialogue as part of a comprehensive approach that should be adopted by Nigerian government to address the situation, saying force alone may not bring about a lasting solution to the Niger Delta issue.
According to him, Britain is already talking to Nigeria government and its authorities on need to take a  “comprehensive approach” and not to rely solely on military option as solution to the Niger Delta militants.
He said that it was important that the Nigerian government explore ways to engage the communities in the area, understand the grievances of the people and also ensure that the environmental damage is cleaned up.
He also suggested that same option should be applied to conclude the fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North East of the country as being canvassed ever since by Britain.
“We need to protect the investment there, not just British companies, international companies but Nigerian companies as well.
“We are talking to Nigerian authorities about that, we need to have what we called a comprehensive approach to this. In other words we need to have dialogue and we need to engage the communities down there.
“We need to understand the grievances of the people down there, we need to ensure the environmental damage is cleaned up” he stressed.


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