The gory attack by the insurgents last week Tuesday in Magumeri area of Borno State on a convoy of specialists from UniMaid and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) who were searching for commercial hydrocarbon deposits in the Chad Basin was said to be the deadliest in recent times.
But Prof. Njodi said though the entire university community was distraught by the cruel incident of July 25, 2017, the university cannot “chicken out” of doing what it is supposed to do whenever the NNPC eventually reorganises and return to exploration work in the area.
The VC stated this while receiving a high powered delegation from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the NNPC led by its Chief Operating Officer in charge of gas and power unit, Engr. Saidu Mohammed, who paid him a visit in Maiduguri.
He assured of the institution’s commitment to going the whole hug in the search for commercial oil in the region with the NNPC.
Tracing the university’s partnership with the corporation to over 12 years back when the NNPC kicked off exploration activities in the Chad Basin, the UniMaid VC described as an act of God the cruel attack on the Frontier Exploration Services/Surface Geochemistry Sampling team comprising the NNPC, Consultants from University of Maiduguri, Consultants attached to the Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), a subsidiary of the NNPC and Civilian escort team.
He noted that the situation, as painful as it might appear, must be seen as a necessary sacrifice for the development of the country.
Prof. NjodI, however, called on the NNPC to stand firm beside the University and the families of the bereaved by providing the much needed support to overcome the massive setback caused by the insurgents’ attack.
Responding, Engr. Mohammed said as a responsible corporate entity, the NNPC will do everything within its means to support the University and the families of 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 NNPC.
Earlier, the delegation paid a similar visit to the governor of Borno State at Government House Maiduguri where the deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Usman Durkwa, charged the NNPC not to allow the attack dampen its morale in the quest for new oil fields in the region.
Before leaving Maiduguri, the delegation paid a visit to the theatre command headquarters of operation Lafia Dole where a formal condolence letter from the HMSPR was handed over to Brig. Gen. Stevenson Olabanji who stood in for the theatre commander.
General 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 GMD of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, on arrival of the delegation over the weekend, announced some short term palliatives for victims of the attacks.