Boko Haram Ambush: We won’t stop oil search, says UniMaid VC

Boko Haram Ambush: We won’t stop oil search, says UniMaid VC

Monday, July 31, 2017 5:51 pm

University of Maiduguri

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi, on Monday assured the NNPC that it would not abandon the search for commercial hydrocarbon deposits in the Chad basin in spite of  the recent insurgent attack on lecturers of the university.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some members of staff of the NNPC, five lecturers of the university, soldiers and civilian members of the JTF were attacked by Boko Haram insurgents on July 25.

The group was on explorative mission to the Chad basin in Borno to search for hydrocarbon deposits.

A number of soldiers and others were killed while the lecturers were abducted by Boko Haram.

A statement on Monday said  Njodi gave the assurance in Maiduguri when receiving a delegation from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the NNPC.

The statement was signed by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division.

According to it, Njodi said that the entire university community was distraught by the cruel incident of July 25.

“The university will not “chicken out’’ from doing what it is supposed to do when  the NNPC re-organises and returns to exploration work in the area,’’ the statement quotes the VC as saying.

He described the attack on the Frontier Exploration Services/Surface Geochemistry Sampling team –made up of consultants from the university, NNPC staff, soldiers and civilian escort team — as an act of God.

According to him, the situation, painful as it might appear, must be seen as a necessary sacrifice for the development of the country.

Njodi called on the NNPC to stand firm with the university and the families of the bereaved by providing the needed support to overcome the massive setback caused by the insurgent attack.

Earlier, Mr Saidu Mohammed, NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer in charge of gas and power unit, said NNPC would do everything possible to support the university and the families of the victims of the attack.

“We have been great partners with the University of Maiduguri for many years and certainly when losses like this happen and under this circumstance, we cannot abandon our partners to their fate,’’ Mohammed said.

He promised to return to the university after conferring with the minister of state for petroleum resources and the group managing director of the NNPC.

The NNPC delegation also paid a visit to the state government, where the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Durkwa, also urged the corporation not to allow the attack to discourage the search for new oil fields in the region.

Also, Brig.-Gen. Stevenson Olabanji, who represented the theatre commander of Operation Lafia Dole, received the formal condolence letter from the minister.

Olabanji restated the readiness of the military to perform its statutory role of providing security cover for exploration activities in the Chad Basin and beyond.

Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, upon return of the delegation, announced some short term palliatives for victims of the attacks.


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