The Federal Government has reiterated the need to sustain peace and ensure peaceful co-existence in the Niger Delta region through dialogue and engagements of critical stakeholders, stressing that only dialogue and not arms will sustain the region and the country beyond oil.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, stated this at the 14th Niger Delta Dialogue facilitated by AA Peace Works and the European Union with the theme, “Niger Delta’s Security Pathway: Where to? Where From?” held in Yenagoa, on Thursday.
Speaking on “Dialogue and not Arms Will Sustain Nigeria and Niger Delta Beyond Oil,” he said: “The Federal Government designed the Niger Delta economy for alternative revenue and employment sources while oil is flowing and to be sustained when alternative may dwarf oil economy in the predicted future.
“Insecurity as at date has caused oil companies service companies downstream investors, including maritime ancillaries to port to other parts of the country even as some of the oil company now operate offshore with the attendant loses to the community as well as cost of production.”
He said the Federal Government was creating programmes and funding implementations in the region, pointing out that all the lofty goals of the current administration for the region can only be achieved when there is peace in the region.
In his remarks, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, spokesperson of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, said the bone of contention in the region was the failure of the Federal Government to implement the 16 point agenda presented to it since 2016, noting that it was time the Federal Government take the region serious.
“Now we are not going to be violent anymore, we are going to apply the Kula Model. We will sit down at the flow stations, you don’t produce any oil, we will not destroy anything, we are protecting our rights and environment and if in the process to take it by force, you risk your facilities that cost millions and if you kill us, we take you to the International Criminal Court, ICC, because that is genocide, that is the model we will apply,” Sara-Igbe stated.
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