Dick­son cau­tions against use of force in N/Delta

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Isi­aka Wak­ili

Bayelsa State Gover­nor Se­ri­ake Dick­son has cau­tioned against the use of force against the Niger Delta mil­i­tants, say­ing it was not the right ap­proach to ad­dress the is­sue.

He spoke to State House cor­re­spon­dents yes­ter­day shortly af­ter meet­ing be­hind closed-doors with Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari.

He was re­act­ing to a ques­tion on the re­cent threat by the Chief of Army Staff, Gen­eral Tukur Bu­ratai, that the mil­i­tary would use force if the Niger Delta Avengers and other mil­i­tant groups blow­ing up oil in­stal­la­tions in the region re­ject di­a­logue with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment or if di­a­logue fails.

The gover­nor, who said he vis­ited Pres­i­dent Buhari for dis­cus­sions on se­cu­rity is­sues, said di­a­logue re­mained the way out of the cur­rent cri­sis.

“The mil­i­tary so­lu­tion, as I have al­ways main­tained, is not the right op­tion. We are hope­ful that the on­go­ing dis­cus­sions will yield the de­sired re­sult. I have al­ways been in sup­port of ne­go­ti­a­tions, of di­a­logue as the sus­tain­able way for­ward.

Di­a­logue will bring out the is­sues and then, we will all unite around th­ese com­mon is­sues to move our coun­try for­ward,” Dick­son stated.

Ac­cord­ing to him, it is the duty of the po­lit­i­cal lead­ers in the Niger Delta to mo­bilise com­mu­nal and lo­cal lead­er­ships as well as sup­port the ef­forts of in­tel­li­gence and se­cu­rity agen­cies.

Dick­son, who em­pha­sised that he and Buhari “cross-fer­tilised ideas around is­sues of se­cu­rity”, noted that Bayelsa is cen­tral to the main­te­nance of law and or­der as well as the sta­bil­ity of Nige­ria, par­tic­u­larly in the Niger Delta.

“Bayelsa is the epic cen­tre of the is­sues that have to do with the Niger Delta. And we had fruit­ful dis­cus­sions on the need for po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, gov­ern­men­tal and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers to work to­gether to sup­port the work of the se­cu­rity agen­cies and foster bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of even peo­ple who have griev­ances and that we are com­mit­ted to do­ing to­gether,” he said.

On his visit to Aso Rock, Dick­son said: “My po­si­tion has been that af­ter gen­eral elec­tions, po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and cit­i­zens must unite and ad­dress com­mon is­sues and find solutions to the prob­lems of our coun­try. All over the world, once na­tions have crises, once na­tions come un­der at­tacks, lead­ers unite across po­lit­i­cal lines. And to­day, I came to have a dis­cus­sion with Mr. Pres­i­dent, and I thank him for that op­por­tu­nity.”

Dick­son ap­plauded Pres­i­dent Buhari’s non-in­ter­fer­ence in the po­lit­i­cal pro­cesses that played out in Bayelsa in the last gu­ber­na­to­rial elec­tion.

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