From Magnus Eze, Abuja
A Niger Delta-based Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) at the weekend said 535 cult-related deaths were recorded from 136 political killings and another 125 murders due to kidnappings in the region between January and August this year.
It also said over 35 attacks on oil facilities by 13 groups were recorded in the region this year.
Mr. Nkasi Owode of Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND), disclosed this in Abuja at the 2016 Africa Leadership and Security Summit organised by the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ).
He said sustained vandalism of oil and gas facilities in the region which resulted in drastic drop in oil production is disrupting global supply of crude in the international market.
In a paper, titled: “Niger Delta Crisis: Ripple effect on global economy’, Owode said while Nigeria expected low oil price this year, it never envisaged that its production would drop to as low as 1.5 million barrels per day.
Owode said government’s policy towards resolving the problem in the oil rich region encourages violence and needed a rethink, adding that militancy was only a symptom of an endemic problem in the region and solving the militancy challenge would not end agitation in the area.
Earlier, Senate President, Bukola Saraki said the Upper Chamber will continue to support efforts to solve security challenges in Niger Delta and other parts of the country with adequate legislations.
Saraki, who was represented by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, said democracy is threatened by lack of peace.
“Hence it is our duty as members of government to ensure that the prime factor in the social contract between the people and their government, which is the safety of lives and property remains at the front burner of all our endeavours”, he stated.
Speaking earlier, the National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Mr. Sheriff Mulade, harped on the need for African countries to work together to solve the leadership and security challenges facing the continent.
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