By Etop Ekanem
Acting Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro, has tasked the Nigerian military to free all the abducted girls and end insurgency in the North-East of Nigeria.
He, however, praised the Army for achieving peaceful oil production environment as well as exhibiting professionalism in the recent polls in Delta State.
Otuaro tasked the military at a dinner in his Asaba official residence, Tuesday night, when the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, paid a courtesy call to Government Government House, which coincided with Otuaro’s birthday.
The acting governor said he was impressed by the show of love and commitment that has seen the army follow details towards giving a befitting burial to one of its own, Late Major General David Ejoor, erstwhile Chief of Army Staff.
He said: “I want to also commend the strategic role your formations have played to provide maximum security, especially in oil-producing area in Delta State, which is one topmost oil producing state with so much infrastructure to protect in Warri South, Warri South-West, Warri North, Burutu among others.
“The military has partnered Delta State government for the resultant peaceful oil production environment with improved economic intake. There is need for greater security collaboration as achievement of our goals is dependent on security, which is why we set up several institutional structures, including Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities. Our partnership with the Presidential Initiative on Niger Delta resulted in increased oil production.
“We are proud of what you are doing in the North-East where there is insurgency going on. You have our support to bring this insurgency to an end. We have no country other than Nigeria. Let us soon celebrate the end of this insurgency. I urge you to work harder to release our abducted girls still in custody.”
Responding, Buratai, who congratulated Otuaro on his birthday, said he was in the state to condole with the family of late Maj Gen David Ejoor ahead of plans to bury the former Chief of Army Staff as well as see the new 63 Brigade in the state.
“On the 63 Brigade in the state, I’m impressed at the pace of work going on and appreciate the supportive Delta State government. Your Excellency, we have so much in common because as one who studied peace and conflict resolution at the University of Ibadan, you are given to the pursuit of peace. I assure you, Your Excellency, that the Nigerian Army will work within the Constitution to provide the needed security in the country. The support of the Delta State Government, which has been unconditional, is a morale booster,” Buratai said.