Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Niger Delta militants to come to the negotiation table.
In his new year message to Nigerians on January 1, 2017, Buhari stated:
"We will continue to pursue peace initiatives in the Niger Delta as I again, call on our brothers in that region who have taken to violent disruptions of economic infrastructure to come to the negotiating table."
To the the Shia Community, who have been victims of brutality from the security forces the president urged them to embrace peace saying:
"They must accept the laws of the country they live in. They cannot be islands by themselves. At the same time, the law enforcement agencies must treat them humanely and according to the rule of law."
Stating that the nation is witnessing a new and impressive turnaround in our security and socio-economic situation", Buhari congratulated the "heroic and gallant efforts of our military and other security agencies on their remarkable successes to rid the nation of terrorism."
Buhari stated that following the successful capture of Sambisa Forest, spearheaded by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, the region "have entered a new phase in our battle against our common enemy, Boko Haram."
"When we see our beloved 21 Chibok girls reuniting with their families and community for Christmas, it gives us the hope that those who are still in captivity will one day return to the loving arms of family, friends and well-wishers.
"I urge all Nigerians to be on the alert and watch out for strange figures settling in their communities, and report to the nearest security agencies, as our armed forces intensify the pursuit of fleeing terrorists from the captured Sambisa Forest.
Buhari however warned that "Misguided elements who decided to take up arms against constituted authorities must be brought to face the full weight of the law."
"The support of all Nigerians to security agencies to enable them successfully execute their mandate is crucial in our bid to effectively secure our country."
"Seeing the joyful return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on December 25, 2016, reassured us that the voluntary return of IDPs in other parts of the country is imminent.
"The Federal Government will spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims of terrorism and insurgency. I urge state governments, privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards this goal.
"Government is aware of some mistakes and wrongdoings in handling the affairs of IDPs. We are taking measures to correct those mistakes and punish the culprits.
"In this New Year, I want to reassure all Nigerians that our defence and security forces are more than ever before ready to perform their constitutional role of protecting lives and property in the country; and we will surely overcome all other forms of security challenges.
"The lingering security issues in several states will be frontally addressed. These ugly crises cannot be allowed to fester as they strain the unifying bonds of brotherhood and neighbourliness. Some sections of the press and some politicians should avoid provocative and inflammatory statements, while the government is painstakingly trying to find solutions to our challenges.
"I want to remind you on the first day of this New Year of an African proverb that says “it is easy to break a broomstick but not a bunch”. Nigeria is a bunch and is more than equal to troublemakers."