By Michael Eboh
Despite the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents and the adoption of three Lecturers from the University of Maiduguri, the institution has said it will continue with the oil exploration in the Chad Basin.
The University said it would not be deterred by the death and abduction of its staff by the Boko Haram terrorist group, noting that it would return with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to resume crude oil exploration in the Chad basin.
In a Statement by the NNPC in Abuja, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ibrahim Njodi, who led the three recently released Lecturers and the Management team of the University on a visit to the NNPC, said the freed Lecturers and the entire University community were ready to mobilise for oil exploration in the Chad Basin.
He also announced the unfortunate demise of one of the victims of the attack, Muhammed Alhaji Kolo, whom he said, died as a result of gunshot wounds inflicted on him by the insurgents.
Njodi stated that despite the harrowing experience by the Lecturers in the captivity of the insurgents, the University of Maiduguri was focused on carrying through the exploration Programme in the inland sedimentary basins.
The NNPC said the freed Lecturers, who accompanied the Vice-Chancellor are: Dr. Solomon Nehemiah Yusuf, Mr. Yusuf Ibrahim, both Lecturers of the Geology Department of the University and Mr. Haruna Dashe, of the Works Department of the institution.
Njodi expressed profound gratitude to the NNPC, stating that the University community would not forget the support the Corporation extended to the families of the victims at their hours of need.
He sought more support for the affected Lectures, stressing that they passed through unimaginable trauma in the hands of the insurgents.
In his response, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru called for a minute silence for the repose of the soul of the victim, who died from injuries he sustained during the attack, saying NNPC is totally in support of the University.
Baru thanked the Academics for their visit, saying NNPC was ready to again mobilise to the Chad Basin for further exploration activities, noting that the Corporation would work vigorously with the University and all relevant security agencies to fortify the environment for smooth exploration activities.
He remarked that it would be a great mark of honour to the departed for the Corporation and the University to resume exploration work in the basin.
The NNPC boss stated that the Corporation was convinced on the need to intensify exploration activities in the North given the need to boost the nation’s oil reserves in line with the aspiration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the oil and gas sector of the economy.