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The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has described as despicable the attack on the chairman of the Human Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Lanre Suraju, and his family.

NEITI executive secretary Orji Ogbonnaya-Orji, in a statement on Sunday, expressed shock over the attack on Mr Suraju.

“I received the news of the attack on Mr Suraju and his family at their home with the utmost sadness and disappointment and wish to condemn the attack in very strong terms,” he said.

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The NEITI boss emphasised that the attack on Mr Suraju was an attack on all civil society organisations working to enthrone transparency and accountability in the extractive industries.

According to him, the attack was also an affront to civil society protocols under the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), of which Nigeria is a key signatory.

“NEITI views this attack on Mr Suraju with pain and will like to appeal to security agencies to carry out a full-scale investigation to apprehend the culprits,” he noted. “For us in NEITI, the civil society organisations are our very strong allies. We work with civil society, government and companies to enthrone transparency and accountability in the management of oil, gas and mining revenues.”

He further noted that it “is NEITI’s belief that the interest of leading civil society activists like Mr Suraju is simply to help ensure that revenues earned from the extractive sector benefit all Nigerians and not just a few.”

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Mr Ogbonnaya-Orji called for an urgent need to guarantee the security of all groups, individuals and persons working in the extractive sector to carry out their legitimate assignments without intimidation.

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