Nigerian president says ‘cannot afford’ to return to Delta insecurity

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York
FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

November 7, 2017

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said the country “cannot afford to go back to dark days of insecurity” in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.

In a speech to present the 2018 budget, Buhari called on all sides to maintain dialogue.

Last week, the militant group Niger Delta Avengers threatened a “brutal and bloody” return to the violence that last year slashed oil output. Oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu will visit the region this week in an attempt to maintain the ceasefire.

Buhari also said the country’s exemption from production cuts organized by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was a significant help to the country during its “most challenging time.”

(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Libby George, editing by Louise Heavens)