– President Buhari has reported stopped the military operation in the Niger Delta
– He has decided to embrace dialogue as a way of handling the problems in the region
– The vice president was instructed to convince the oil-producing communities
President Muhammadu Buhari has dropped the military operation in the Niger Delta region in favour of dialogue and has instructed Professor Yemi Osinbajo to take charge.
Due to the bombing of oil and gas pipelines in the region by militants, Operation Crocodile Smile was launched to engage the militants militarily but according to The Punch the president has embraced dialogue as a solution to the problem rather than a military operation.
A top government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the president had a series of meetings with Osinbajo where it was agreed that the federal government would embrace the oil producing communities.
“The President also decided to play down the use of open military tactics and gave firm instructions on this ahead of his delegation instructions to the Vice-President to embark on the ongoing trips to Niger Delta states.”
President Buhari instructed Osinbajo to make sure “all interests are brought to the table, regardless of parties or any other differing factors or cleavages.”
He also said the amnesty programme will be fully sustained and urged the vice president to make this known to the oil-producing communities.
He said: “It was also at the meetings the President held with his deputy that President Buhari firmed up the resolve that the Maritime University project in Delta State would be fully supported by the Federal Government.
“Before then, there had been an open disagreement between two ministers from the Niger Delta region on the fate of the university.
“Besides, the President also asked the Vice-President to ensure that during the visits, the communities should be made to understand that the government is now interested in action and would do its own part.
“The Vice-President was also asked to secure from the communities a buy-in of peace and collaboration from state governments and the oil companies in particular.”
He said local and international oil companies were also involved in the dialogue process.