This retired Army general from the north is now to end militancy in Niger Delta

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– The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has done a lot to quell the violent activities of militants in the Niger Delta region

– The president has again inaugurated a committee to be headed by a retired Army chief with the mandate to recover arms from the militants and end the agitation in the region

Following the failure to end violence in the Niger Delta despite various efforts by the current administration, President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated retired Lt Gen Theophilus Danjuma to help in this regard.

Danjuma was Chief of Army Staff between July 1975 and October 1979 and is now heading the Niger Delta Riverine Protection Programme to end the continued spate of bombings in the oil-rich region of the country by agitators.

The committee was inaugurated on Tuesday and expected to recover illegal weapons and stop bombings and other crimes in the region.

“Yes, I know the job will be tough, but I am experienced and I understand the terrain so, I know I will make the President proud,” Danjuma said as reported by the Daily Sun

According to him, the committee will hold series of sensitisation programmes and town hall meetings across Niger Delta to engage the youths and warn them on the dangers of their action especially as it affects the nation.

“I have accepted this responsibility with every sense of humility, responsibility and patriotism.

“I am conscious of the fact that we cannot achieve the purpose for which this program is created without the active support of the stakeholders in the region and beyond.

“What I am supposed to do as the name implies is to stop the spate of bombings in Niger Delta, recover arms and sensitise the people particularly the youths on why they should not go into destroying their own land.

“The danger is that at the end of the day our people suffer more when these bombings occur. Our people are suffering. The answer to the problem is not bombing, but to engage the government and make sure our people benefit from the laudable programs that are being put in place for our people.

“Whose land is suffering? Who are the end losers?

“So, the new narrative is let our boys lay their arms and let government take care of the people as it should be. Confronting the government will not help our case,” he said.

Concerning how he planned to carry out his action, he said: “In the next few days we shall be meeting with critical stakeholders in the region to unveil our detailed program of action.

“We are also organizing Town Hall meetings with all these critical stakeholders across all the states of the South-South region on the dangers of bombings and for them to also tell us their problems.

“We will tell them what the Federal Government has in store for them. Some of the South-South governors have been contacted and the response was very positive.

“Don’t forget that the committee will also be working with the ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs in liaison with the office of the National Security Adviser.”

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