The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani and governors of the Niger Delta states including Prof. Ben Ayade (Cross River); Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); and Ifeanyi Okowa of (Delta) have argued that the use of “force” would not resolve the problems of the region – the Federal Government should rather negotiate with agitators to address the issues.
For any reason if our agitations are not addressed through dialogue about issues that concern us, it may result in our gradually walking towards the loss of a nation, the loss of sovereignty, and none of us shall eventually be better for it as we will no longer have assets that we can call our homes.
This is the reason I think security issues must be taken personal in the sense that when we find anything that threatens society we have to do our best through dialogue, report the issue to security agents or by even seeking for political solution, otherwise, it will be terrible for all of us at the end.
The use of force is not an alternative to conflict resolution. The resolution of conflict by preventing them from occurring gives us confidence in society and also enhances the work of security agents, he said.
In his comment, the governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, attributed the insecurity in the country to conflict between the security agencies and the state governments.
The governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, who hosted the event, said that there was no Federal Government presence in the Niger Delta despite the region’s immense contributions to the country’s development.
According to him, the Federal Government must provide security to ensure the flow of commerce and industry in the country.
The governor, however, commended the police and all other security agencies for their performance in curbing insecurity in the country.
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, called for support and cooperation of leaders in the South-South geopolitical zone, especially the state governors to tackle insecurity challenges in the area.
He added that the public lecture series being organised across the entire geopolitical zones in the country was crucial in resolving security challenges facing the nation.
Idris said, “Every nation deserves security for its social and economic development. Since assumption of office, my stewardship has adopted some preventive strategies to boost most of our efforts in checking crime and criminality.
“I want to assure you that the police under my watch is committed to defeating all security challenges confronting our dear country. We need the support of the South-South people and that of all Nigerians.
“On the issue of conflict resolution perspective to insecurity, it is appropriate to call on the Niger Deltans, especially the youth not to resort to militancy and other forms of criminality as a way of resolving their grievances.
“They should constantly engage the government through legitimate channels under our laws to resolve whatever issue they have. This is the only assured way of peace and development in the region.”