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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

President Buhari meets northern governors on possible oil exploration



President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met separately with three state governors from the northern part of the country on issues bordering on the possible oil exploration in the North as well as security among others.


The governors include Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State; Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State.

The meetings were held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Tambuwal told State House correspondents that he briefed Buhari on the outcome of the recent visit of some northern governors to the South-East over growing agitations across the country.

He said, “I came to see our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, and we had discussions on quite a number of issues. Of specific mention is the issue of the general well-being of the country, and the security situation of the country.

“I am sure you are aware that recently we were in the South-East as governors from the North.

“We went to interact with our brothers in the South-East and the South-South and particularly people of the North residing there. So, there was a need for a feedback.”

The governor said he also seized the opportunity of the meeting to brief Buhari on possible oil exploration in the Sokoto Basin.

He said there was a need for the Federal Government to continue to support the endeavour which he said would help in the provision of more oil and gas for the country and bring about agricultural revolution in the North.

The governor said oil had always been in the basin since 1957 when the first attempt at exploration was made in the area.

He however said the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta, which was easier to exploit, caused a shift in focus to that of Niger Delta.

Tambuwal said Buhari’s response was positive.

Geidam on his part said he told Buhari that peace had returned to Yobe State, an area that was hitherto at the frontline of insurgency.

He said he told the President that all Internally Displaced Persons had returned to their bases and resumed their normal business.

The governor said the current problems facing the state bordered on resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the destroyed areas by the Boko Haram.

Geidam said he sought the Federal Government’s assistance in that regard.

He said, “In terms of reconstruction and rehabilitation, although there is the Presidential Committee in the North-East, they are doing their best but they need to do more. That is what I told Mr. President.

“Some of our people lost their means of livelihood, their farms, homes etc. They need to be given some amount of money or the Federal Government through the Presidential Committee may assist them to reconstruct or rebuild their houses so that they can start their normal lives.

“We have not received a kobo in terms of cash but in terms of materials, food and non-food items, we have been receiving a lot which I cannot tell you precisely in a quantified form here. We have received enough.

“But during the last administration, Yobe State took care of the Joint Task Force which is a combination of the military, the DSS, the police, the mobile police who were carrying out the war against insurgency. We even paid their allowances, all their logistics including patrol vehicles.

“We have spent quite a substantial amount of money in that direction up to about N13bn during the time of insurgency and we have submitted our spending to the Federal Government if they could refund even 30 per cent of that so that we can deploy it in the establishment of some infrastructure like hospitals.

“Recently, we have awarded a construction of cargo airport, if we can get a portion of that money, it will go a long way in solving some of our problems.”
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