From Uche Usim, Abuja
As Nigerians mourn the death of soldiers and geologists killed last week by Boko Haram in an ambush in Borno State, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi has said the university will not chicken out of the hunt for commercial hydrocarbon deposits in the area, the attack notwithstanding.
He also pledged the commitment of the institution to go the whole hug with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC in the onerous task.
A statement from NNPC’s spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu yesterday quoted the don as stating the above when he received a delegation from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the NNPC team led by Engr. Saidu Mohammed, Chief Operating Officer in charge of gas and power unit of the corporation in Maiduguri at the weekend.
According to Ughamadu, Njodi, told the delegation that though the entire university community was distraught by the cruel incident of Tuesday last week, essay, the university, will support the NNPC when it re-organizes itself and return to exploration work in the area.
Tracing the university’s partnership with the NNPC to over 12 years when it began exploration activities in the Chad Basin, Prof. Njodi described the cruel attack on the Frontier Exploration Services/Surface Geochemistry Sampling team comprising the NNPC, Consultants from the UNIMAID, Consultants attached to the Integrated Data Services Limited, (IDSL) a subsidiary of the NNPC and Civilian escort team, as an act of God.
Quoting, Njodi further, Ughamadu, noted that though the situation was painful, it remained a necessary sacrifice for the development of the country.
However, the VC called on the NNPC to stand firm beside the university and the families of the bereaved and provide the much needed support to overcome the massive setback wrought by the insurgent attack.
“Responding, Mohammed said as a responsible corporate entity, the NNPC would do everything within its means 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.
Earlier, the delegation had 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 to dampen its morale in the quest for new oil finds in the region.