Dickson cautions against use of force in N/Delta
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.