President Muhammadu Buhari has canceled at the last minute a visit planned for Thursday to the oil-producing Niger Delta, which has been hit by a wave of militant attacks, a government source said. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will instead visit the restive southern region to launch a cleanup program of the Ogoniland, an area badly hit by oil spills, the source said, without giving a reason for Buhari’s cancellation, reports Reuters.
Buhari had already skipped a visit to the commercial capital Lagos in the south last month at the last minute. Posters with his picture had been already hung up to welcome the president before his spokesman cited “scheduling” difficulties. It would have been the first visit of the former military ruler to the Delta since taking office in May last year. Critics have accused Buhari, a Muslim from the north, of ignoring the predominately Christian south.
The southern Delta swamps have been hit by a series of militant attacks on oil and gas pipelines which have brought Nigeria’s oil output to a 20-year low.