Abuja –  President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his administration will ensure lasting peace in the troubled Niger Delta region.

The president made the pledge in Abuja on Saturday in a nationwide broadcast to mark the country’s 56th Independence Anniversary.

He said that already, the Federal Government had commenced dialogue with all groups and leaders of thought in the region to achieve lasting peace in the area.

The president,  however, warned that “no group can unlawfully challenge the authority of the Federal Government and succeed.’’

“A new insurgency has reared up its head in the shape of blowing up gas and oil pipelines by groups of Niger Delta Militants.
“This administration will not allow these mindless groups to hold the country to ransom.

“What sense is there to damage a gas line as a result of which many towns in the country, including their own town or village, is put in darkness as a result?

“What logic is there in blowing up an export pipeline and as a result income to your state and local governments and consequently their ability to provide services to your own people is reduced?’’ he asked.

The president said his administration was fully sympathetic to the plight of the good people of Niger Delta region and added:   “we are in touch with the State Governments and leaderships of the region.’’

The president said that the clean-up of  Ogoniland, infrastructural projects financed by the Federal Government and post amnesty programme financing were meant to uplift the quality of life of the people in the area.

He said his administration’s crusade against corruption would continue, adding that “corruption is a cancer which must be fought with all the weapons at our disposal.

“It corrodes the very fabric of government and destroys society.

“Fighting corruption is key, not only to restoring the moral health of the nation but also to freeing our enormous resources for urgent socio-economic development.’’

Buhari said that in fighting corruption, the government would adhere strictly by the rule of law and appealed to the judiciary to join the fight against corruption