FG Picks Dialogue Option In Resolution Of Niger-Delta Crises

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, welcomes VP Osibanjo to Port Harcourt

By Oladapo Okeowo

The Federal Government has decided to explore the option of dialogue in the resolution of the impasse in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

The region has seen a new wave of militancy that has brought about the blowing up of oil pipelines. These acts of vandalism have translated to a drop in oil production and also a sharp drop in power supply as gas pipelines are also blown up.

President Muhammadu Buhari has relegated the military option to the last and given the go-ahead for peaceful overtures to be made.President Muhammadu Buhari has dropped the idea of m

This presidential endorsement is the reason for the Niger Delta tour which Acting President Yemi Osinbajo carried out last week. His visist to Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Imoo states were to start off the process of finsing a middle ground.

This, on the condition of anonymity, was confirmed by a government official who spoke to some journalists.

The decision, according to the official was made before President Buhari left the country on Jan 23.

“The President also decided to play down the use of open military tactics and gave firm instructions on this ahead of his delegation instructions to the Vice-President to embark on the ongoing trips to Niger Delta states.”

The mandate given to the Acting President, according to the source was, that ““all interests are brought to the table, regardless of parties or any other differing factors or cleavages.”

The Amnesty Programme would be sustained still while the communities involved are to know that the FG is ready to work with them. Added to these, the burden of cost for the Maritime University would be carried by the FG.

“The Vice-President was also asked to secure from the communities a buy-in of peace and collaboration from state governments and the oil companies in particular.”

He added that Buhari and Osinbajo also agreed that any immediate and reasonable requests of the communities would be considered to build confidence that all parties could then build upon.

This was the same process favoured by the Yar’adua administration that saw the end of militancy in the region but at a cost to the government. The dialogue led to the creation of the Amnesty Programme where the militants dropped their weapons, were given regular pay-outs and had their education (formal and informal) bills picked up by the government.


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