USE OF FORCE AGAINST NIGER DELTA MILITANTS WON'T WORK ..GOV DICKSON TELLS BUHARI DURING VISIT TO AS ROCK
The use of force as threatened by the Federal Government to quell the militancy in the Niger Delta region will not work, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has said.
The governor also said it was the duty of political leaders to mobilise stakeholders to resolve the problems through dialogue.
Speaking to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, he expressed confidence that only dialogue would bring a lasting solution to the Niger Delta crisis.
Dickson’s remark followed renewed threat by the top echelon of the military to deploy force to rout the militants, whose activities had greatly impacted on the production of crude oil and revenues for the Federal Government.
Dickson observed that because of the complex nature of the region, only peaceful dialogue could guarantee positive results.
The governor, whose election was confirmed by Bayelsa State election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, said he was also in the Presidential Villa to commend President Buhari for his non-interference in the political process of his state.
He urged indigenes of the state to discountenance reports that Buhari influenced the elections of the state and called on his All Progressives Congress (APC) challenger, former Governor Timipre Sylva and other politicians, to work with him to move the state forward.
On his discussion with the president, he said “I came in this afternoon to have discussions with Mr President. That is because my position has been and I believe that is the right position every political leader should take which is that after general election, 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 crisis, once nations come under attack, leaders unite across political lines. And I came to have discussion with Mr President and I thank him for that opportunity and we cross-fertilised ideas around issues of security.
“Of course, as you know, Bayelsa is central to the maintenance of law and order and stability in our country, particularly in the Niger Delta region. Bayelsa is the epicenter of the issues that have to do with the Niger Delta.
“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 do together.”