FG in talks with N-Delta militants, Buhari tells German Ambassador

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** FILE ** In this Feb. 24, 2006 file photo, Militants wearing black masks, military fatigues and carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers patrol the creeks of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. The main militant group in Nigeria's oil-rich southern region said Tuesday it is willing to cease hostilities if the federal government allows conflict mediation by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. (AP Photo/George Osodi, File)
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ABUJA—Officially, President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed that his administration has opened talks with Niger Delta militants to end attacks on oil installations and stabilize  production.

He, however, said the negotiations were done through oil companies and law-enforcement agencies. This is even as governors, under the aegis of Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, may have concluded plans to go on vacation in Germany.

The President, who spoke at a farewell audience with Mr. Michael Zinner, the outgoing Ambassador of Germany to Nigeria, at the State House, Abuja, yesterday, also said his government was studying the instruments of the Amnesty Programme inherited from the previous administration, with a view to carrying out commitments made but not delivered.

“We understand their feelings; we are studying the instruments. We have to secure the environment, otherwise investment will not come. We will do our best for the country,” he said. The President thanked the government of Germany for its continued support to Nigeria in  efforts to tackle insecurity and the on-going rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced citizens in crisis areas in the North-Eastern parts of the country.

The outgoing German ambassador noted that bilateral relations between Nigeria and Germany had improved very much in the last 12 months of the present administration. He expressed the readiness of Germany to assist Nigeria in the rehabilitation process in the North East to help displaced persons return to their villages.

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Meanwhile, Nigerian governors would be embarking on a vocation trip to Germany. Chairman of the forum and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, made the disclosure, Wednesday night, after a meeting of the forum at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting, which preceded yesterday’s meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC, featured the German ambassador who made a presentation on impact of the vacation trip.

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