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UK, Reps back military raid in Niger Delta

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British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright and the House of Representatives yesterday threw their weight behind the Buhari ordered military raid on the resurgence militants in the oil rich Niger Delta region.

The Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, have been active in attacking oil platforms and installations in the last few weeks, thereby reducing the revenue capacity of the country.

The President had, however, ordered the deployment of troops especially in Delta state where the attacks are more prevalent.

Arkwright, in Abeokuta yesterday said there is the need to protect the investments in the region from acts of criminality that are going on in the region.

The British High Commissioner was speaking in the Ogun state capital, immediately after his visit to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.

Arkwright also advocated dialogue as part of a comprehensive approach that should be adopted by the government to address the situation, saying force alone may not bring about a lasting solution to the Niger Delta issue.

The British High Commission’s political Counsellor, Ben Llewellyn-Jones and former Commonwealth Secretary-General Dr Emeka Anyaoku, were on the High Commissioner’s entourage.

The envoy said, “We are talking to Nigerian authorities about that, we need to have what we call 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.

“We need to protect the investment there, not just British companies, international companies but Nigerian companies as well.

“When there is criminal activity, (it) is right that the government should take proactive action against that criminal activity, we strongly support them but we don’t think military solution alone is the final solution to handle issues in Niger Delta.

“And to handle Boko Haram in the North, so we need comprehensive approach and that is what we have been talking to the Nigerian government about.”

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