In order to broker peace in the eastern part of Nigeria the present administration may soon offer amnesty to Niger Delta militants.
This impression was created by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday at the State House in Abuja when speaking at a farewell audience with the outgoing Ambassador of Germany to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Zinner. Mr. President said that his administration is talking to the combative group through oil companies and law-enforcement agencies to find a lasting solution to insecurity in the region.
Buhari said that government is studying the instruments of the Amnesty Programme inherited from the previous administration with a view to carrying out commitments made that were undelivered.
“We understand their feelings,” the President said, adding that “we are studying the instruments. We have to secure the environment, otherwise investment will not come. We will do our best for the country,” he affirmed.
The President used the opportunity to thank the government of Germany for its continuing support to Nigeria in the efforts to tackle insecurity and the on-going rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced citizens in crisis areas in the North-Eastern parts of the country.
President Buhari also thanked Nigeria’s neighbours for their firm and unflinching support in the war against terror.
The outgoing German Ambassador noted that bilateral relations between Nigeria and Germany “had improved very much in the last 12 months of this administration.”
He expressed the readiness of Germany to assist Nigeria in the rehabilitation process in the North East to help displaced persons return to their villages. He also expressed the eagerness of German businesses to invest in the country, now that “conditions for investment have been put in place”.
The German Ambassador also reiterated the standing invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel to President Buhari to visit Germany.
On the other hand, it was gathered on the same day that the Nigerian Navy paraded suspects, including two alleged operatives of the notorious Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), in Warri.
The new Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Commodore Joseph Dzunve, who paraded the suspects, told journalists that his command had destroyed some five illegal oil refining sites within two weeks.
Besides the two suspected Avengers operatives, other suspects paraded included four suspected pipelines vandals, one alleged killer of a naval rating, who was said to have been part of several kidnap cases, and one Navy impersonator.
Giving details of the involvement of each of the suspects, Commodore Dzunve said the suspects were arrested during different operations. About the alleged Avengers operatives, he said they were arrested with incriminating effects on them when arrested.
“The person I’m pointing my walking stick at was arrested about a week ago, he’s suspected to have taken part in the murder of a rating sometime earlier this year. He’s also involved in kidnapping of citizens for ransom.
“Next to him here the person to his right are buyers of some of these illegal refined products, they were caught when we went for that operation last week. They are also suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers.
“This one on my left here is a supplier of equipment they use for the bombing of pipelines, while the one on the right is the mechanic who repairs their boats which they use in conveying the materials whenever they have problems. Further investigation when we hand them over to the prosecuting authorities will reveal the extent to which they partook in those criminal activities”, Dzunve said.
The two avengers suspects were identified as Prince David Oyafogha (avengers mechanic) and Felix Ebiaedor (avengers supplier) while the suspected kidnapper was identified Ebiye Ozano.
Ebiaedor, who was reportedly arrested with equipment used for making explosives, like huge amounts of batteries and cables, said he was merely transporting the equipment to Chief Government Ekpemupolo’s guest house in Oporoza for some persons. He said he has been doing this since January.
“The cables and the batteries are usually brought down to the waterside by Akpos, Rowland and Godbless, whenever they bring them like that they charter the boat and Stanley is the name of the driver. They started early this year, in January. Whenever they bring it, we have a driver that take them down to Oporoza, to the guest house. The guest house belongs to the ex-militant leader, Tompolo”, Ebiaedor revealed.