President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to do all within his powers to ensure the security of oil installations in the Niger Delta region.
The President, who was represented by the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, gave the assurance at a lecture organised by the Save Democracy Group Africa, to mark this year’s democracy day in Abuja on Tuesday.
Buhari’s assurance is coming at the heels of several attacks on oil pipelines by resurgent militant group, the Niger Delta Avenger, with Chevron Nigeria Limited being the worst hit.
According to Buhari, while he seeks a non-military solution to the vandalism and destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, he would not succumb to intimidation and blackmail by militants.
“You will agree with me that two major reasons why our economy is in such a deplorable condition is the slump in crude oil prices.
“It is also due to decline in production as a result of the recent upsurge in activities of criminals and saboteurs in the oil producing region.
“While the control of the selling price of our crude oil is not solely in our hands, the challenge of militancy, criminality and vandalism is solely within our control.
“I, therefore, wish to restate that I have directed all the nation’s security outfits to take all steps necessary to secure the oil facilities and other government assets in the Niger Delta region.
“While our doors are open to dialogue, political and non-military solution on the matter, this government will not succumb to intimidation and blackmail by criminal element, coming to inflict further unnecessary social and economic hardship on the citizens.’’
The President further urged those behind the attacks on oil facilities to desist from the act or face the consequences.