From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Federal Government yesterday assured the people of Niger Delta that the on-going efforts aimed at addressing the issue of insecurity were not cosmetic but intended to achieve enduring peace and stability in the region.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, gave the assurance during a courtesy call on Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson.
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, General Paul Boroh (retd) accompanied him on the visit.
Kachikwu said the Federal Government was committed to ‘a financially driven and economically motivated pattern’ of resolving security concerns and development in Bayelsa and the entire region.
The minister appealed to the Niger Delta agitators to embrace dialogue for the common good of all stakeholders, noting that oil, as a God-given resource, was endowed in the region to unify the people of the country.
Also speaking, Boroh described the peace initiative as all-encompassing as it is designed to engage all stakeholders, including fishermen in the creeks in terms of information gathering and dissemination towards achieving “a seamless and peaceful Niger Delta.”
In his response, Governor Dickson commended the Federal Government for its approach in building consensus towards proffering lasting solutions to end insecurity in the Niger Delta.
He said there were no military wars to be fought in any community in the Niger Delta with armoured tanks and bullets but that of development, peace and prosperity.
“But there are wars to be fought nevertheless. Those wars are wars of development, peace and stability and prosperity. Wars to conquer and reverse the degradation that has been done to our environment. Those are the challenges that call for collaborative efforts,” Dickson said.