President Muhammadu Buhari has given Niger Delta militants two options: come to the dialogue or get ready to be dealt with like Boko Haram Terrorists.
The president spoke in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, which hosted the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
Speaking late Saturday night at a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the conference, Buhari reiterated his administration’s resolve to dialogue with some of the leaders of the militants.
He said with the defeat of Boko Haram Terrorists by the military, his administration’s attention was now focused on stopping the bombing of critical economic assets in the Niger Delta by militants.
He said: “The militants must dialogue with the Federal government or be dealt with in the same way like Boko Haram. We are talking to some of their 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 realise that we have to secure the country before we can efficiently manage it”.
President Buhari assured existing and prospective foreign investors that their investments in Nigeria would be fully secured and protected just as he outlined several steps taken by his administration to secure the country and create an enabling business environment.
He noted that security in the Gulf of Guinea, greatly affected by piracy and armed robbery at sea, was a priority for the Federal Government.
“We have provided funds to our Navy to buy new platforms, train and effectively organize the personnel to protect the area. We are looking forward to support from developed nations for satellite surveillance covering the Gulf”, he said.
President Buhari recalled his last year’s audience with G7 leaders in Germany which was attended by Mr. Abe.
He also expressed appreciation to Japan for responding positively to the requests by Nigeria for the rehabilitation of victims of Boko Haram as well as rebuilding of infrastructure in the north-east
He, however, stated more had to be done on education, health and other infrastructure in order to ensure quick and voluntary return of displaced persons to their native communities.
On the United Nations Security Council reform, Buhari agreed to work with Japan for the reforms, stressing that the case for a permanent seat for Africa on the Council, was a moral one.
He also expressed Nigeria’s support for Japan in its bid for a UN resolution on the problems in East China and South China as well as the “uncontrolled nuclear tests by North Korea”.
“The UN system is sufficient for the resolutions of all disputes and no nation should be above the United Nations. This has to be made absolutely clear and I assure the Prime Minister that I’ll meet as many leaders as possible at the forthcoming UN General Assembly concerning the issues”, he said.
In his remarks, the Japanese PM hailed Buhari “for courageously tackling Boko Haram terrorism”.
Abe maintained that Nigeria and Japan must work together to improve the investment climate in view of the many Japanese companies wishing to invest in Nigeria.
He reiterated his country’s resolve to rapid development in Nigeria through quality delivery of ongoing projects in the country including the Jebba Hydro Power scheme and the Lagos railway project.