The presidency admitted the government was open for dialogue with the Niger Delta militants.
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to deal with Niger Delta militants the same way he treated Boko Haram terrorists.
The Niger Delta region has witnessed resurged activities of militants in the region who have claimed responsibility for the bombing of oil and gas pipelines.
Although the Niger Delta Avengers which has claimed responsibility for most of the vandalism has agreed to a ceasefire, several mushroom groups have vowed to continue with the bombing.
President Buhari promised the militants will get the same treatment given to Boko Haram if they don’t stop their activities. The president who attended the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Nairobi, Kenya spoke at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it was the duty of the government to maintain stability.
He said: “We are talking to some of their (militants) leaders. We will deal with them as we dealt with Boko Haram if they refuse to talk to us.”
“As a government, we know our responsibility, which is to secure the environment. It is clear to us that lenders won’t fund projects in insecure environments.
“We realize that we have to secure the country before we can efficiently manage it.
Also in a statement issued by Garba Shehu who is the spokesperson of the president, he said Buhari in an interview with Kenyan journalists said the government was making efforts to understand them more.
‘‘We do not believe that they (the militants) have announced ceasefire. We are trying to understand them more. Who are their leaders and which areas do they operate and other relevant issues.”
The Niger Delta Avengers after it agreed to a ceasefire appointed Chief Edwin Clark to lead the negotiation. The militants who have reduced Nigeria’s oil production to around 800 barrels per day initially embarked on a mission to stop oil production completely but later agreed to dialogue.
‘It however denied that Professor Wole Soyinka was appointed to join the negotiation team and blamed the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta for releasing a fake negotiation team.