Former Information Minister Edwin Clark has criticized President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for making an inaccurate claim about bringing peace to the Niger Delta region.
President Buhari has spoken about his administration’s attempts to keep the South-South geopolitical zone peaceful, promising the region a fair deal.
Clark, though, stated in an open letter to Buhari on Thursday that the region’s substantial peace cannot be credited to the current administration.
While noting that insecurity in the region reduced during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the elder statesman admitted the security challenge resumed at an “alarming rate” after Buhari came on board.
“No doubt, a good amount of peace has come to the Niger Delta in the past few years. However, your claim as having been the main architect that brought the peace does not properly convey what transpired,” the Ijaw leader said.
“If you will recall, your excellency, before your government came on board, insecurity which had reduced substantially during the tenure of your predecessor, resumed at a very alarming rate.
“The period saw the emergence of a new group, the Niger Delta Avengers, which virtually held your government hostage, oil production went down to as low as about 800,000 barrels per day.
“Your government adopted a military approach to quell the agitations, by deploying the so-called ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ in August 2016, which did not in any way solve the problem.”