European Union to Combat Criminal Activity in Niger Delta

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The European Union Deputy Head of Mission to Nigeria, Zissimos Vergos, has advocated for the eradication of the factors that fuel criminal activities in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

He declared that the EU would back inclusive community strategies to address the root causes of violence in the Niger Delta region.

Militancy/illegal oil bunkering-related clashes, communal conflict, mob violence, clashes between rival cult gangs, and separatism are the most prevalent crimes in the region, as highlighted in a recent report from the Partnership Initiative for the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the launch of a peace promotion project in Abuja on Thursday, Vergos urged for a paradigm shift in addressing the scourge, under the theme ”A Community Centred Approach to Transforming Criminality and Violence in the Niger Delta”.

He continued, “Out of our interest in seeing Nigeria achieve its status as the giant of Africa, what we can do as a partner is bring resources to the table so that Nigerian partners can work around their challenges. This is very important to highlight.

Zissimos praised the consortium partners, Stakeholders Democracy Network, Academic Associate Peace Works, and Partnership Initiative for the Niger Delta, for their joint effort in suggesting an alternative narrative to the prevailing interference of violence in the region.

The minister of Niger Delta, Engineer Abubakar Momoh, delegated his special assistant, James Khanoba, to represent him and expressed optimism that the project would act as a compass guiding the government towards a more comprehensive comprehension of the issues in the region and the possible routes to lasting solutions.

Fatima Abubakar, Country Director of Search for Common Ground, stated that the organization and its Consortium partners have successfully launched the project in Bayelsa, Rivers, and Delta States, with the respective state governments demonstrating their commitment to promoting inclusive community security approaches and addressing the root causes of violence and criminality in the region.

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