Amaechi cautions on use of explosives (Nigeria)

PORT HARCOURT-TO reduce tension in the country, the Federal Government has been urged to come up with measures to regulate use of explosives, especially those found in the oil industry.


Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who made the call yesterday when the Ministerial Sensitization Team on Humanitarian De-mining from the Ministry of Defence paid him a courtesy visit, said some of these explosives were finding their way into wrong hands that use them to generate security tension in the body polity.

The governor said he was happy with the purpose of their visit, which among other things, was to clean up areas where the civil war took place.

He said the state government was prepared to play its role in the cleaning exercise and asked the team to always liaise with the Secretary to the State Government for any assistance needed.

Earlier, the leader of the Ministerial sensitization team on Humanitarian De-mining from the Ministry of Defense, Mr. Henry Ogundiya, said they were in the state in furtherance of President Yar'Adua's approval for the pre-enumeration of land mines victims and clearance of land mines and unexploded ordinances, also known as Explosive Remnants of war arising from the last unfortunate civil war.

Mr. Ogundiya described explosive remnants of war as the wide range of explosive munitions that remained in an area after an armed conflict has ended, noting that the programme was taking off 39 years after the civil war because such explosives could take years or decades to be discovered and cleared.

According to him, "many European countries are still removing unexploded ordinances used in the second world war in countries such as Poland which has been clearing unexploded ordinances from its territory for over 50years, while in the case of Nigeria it is better late than never"

Mr. Ogundiya who said that Nigeria being a signatory of the Ottawa convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of the Anti-personnel mines, said it was mandatory for Nigeria to ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in areas under her control.

He disclosed that the humanitarian de-mining exercise would be carried out in the entire old Eastern Region and parts of the old Mid-West Region to make land safe for agricultural, industrial, commercial and recreational purposes, adding that the visit was also to seek Rivers State Government partnership in the exercise.

The Humanitarian De-mining Exercise team leader, stated that at the end of the sensitization tour, which affects some communities in the state, a blast-off exercise of the stockpile unexploded ordinances is expected to be flagged-off by the president, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, and lauded Governor Amaechi for the warm reception accorded them.

Von: By Jimitota Onoyume, Vanguard, 28.04.2009

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