Reps back military action against N’D Avengers

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The House of Representatives said on Thursday that it was in support of any action taken so far by the Federal Government to contain the rising attacks on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta by the Niger Delta Avengers.

Attacks on oil installations lately have reportedly resulted in a drop of daily crude oil production output from 2.2 million barrels to less than 1.5mbpd.

The government responded to the development by deploying soldiers in the Niger Delta creeks in a bid to quell the attacks.

Speaking on the development at the National Assembly on Thursday, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, said the House was in support of the government’s actions.

Namdas applauded the role of the military in all the flashpoints of the country like the North-East, where men and equipment had been deployed to bring escalating security situations under control.

On the Avengers, he stated, “We are very comfortable with what the Federal Government is doing.

“We will support the government to go ahead with what they are doing. We hope very soon, this issue will be resolved.”

Namdas hinted that the House Committee on Defence had also concluded a tour of the Niger Delta to assess the security situation of the area, adding that the committee would soon submit a report on its findings to the House.

The attacks had also been partly blamed for the decline in electricity supply in the country, owing to disruption of gas installations that power generation plants.

But in plenary, the House summoned the Minister of Power/Works/Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), to appear before lawmakers to explain why the power situation had worsened in recent times.

The House also summoned power generation companies, distribution companies, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company and other stakeholders in the power sector to give their perspectives on the matter.

A member from Edo State, Mr. Johnson Agbonayinma, while moving a motion on the subject, recalled that as of 2015, power generation stood around “4,000 megawatts.”

Agbonayinma, who expressed concern that investors were relocating from the country due to poor power supply, added that he could not understand why generation was now below “1,500 megawatts” in a post-privatisation era.

“The Minister of Power, Gencos, Discos and all the other stakeholders; they should come and explain what is happening,” he stated.

The motion was endorsed in a majority voice vote at the session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

In a separate resolution, the House mandated the Committees on Human Rights, National Security and Intelligence to investigate the May 30 clash between security forces and members of the Independent People of Biafra in Onitsha, Anambra State.

The House observed that “unarmed civilians” were killed during the clash, advising the Federal Government to adopt a “more efficient mechanism for engagement with all aggrieved elements that threaten our homeland security and the territorial integrity of our sovereignty.”

It was the Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Chukwuka Onyeama, who moved a motion on the killings under matters of urgent public importance.

Onyeama hails from Ogbaru Federal Constituency of the state, which is on the bank of the River Niger close to Onitsha.

Part of the motion read, “The House is concerned that in spite of the outcry, investigations and wide condemnation of this trend, there seems to be no cessation of same.

“Aware that the rights to freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly are enshrined in the constitution of our great country, Nigeria;

“Further aware that the rule of law and respect for rights of citizens are cardinal ingredients for the survival of our democracy and consolidation on our democratic gains.”

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Published on: December 24, 2022. at: 18:22
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