Niger Delta: Ex-defence minister urges militants to dialogue with FG

By Tony Ehighiale, Benin 

A former Minister of Defence, Major General Godwin Abbe (rtd) has asked members of the Niger Delta Avengers to stop their violent strategy but to embrace dialogue with the Federal Government with the view to end the crisis in the region. 

Speaking in Benin, the Edo State capital on Monday, Abbe said guns do not make or build peace, therefore he strongly condemned the spate of bombings being masterminded by the Niger Delta Avengers. 

The former minister said the physical development of the region which was a priority under Yar’Adua was truncated by his death. 

“I am therefore pained at the resumption of hostilities, heightened insecurity, economic sabotage, and environmental degradation resulting from attacks on oil installations. 

“No nation, especially the government will sit back and watch critical national assets being destroyed by a group of persons, under any disguise. That cannot be tolerated, and must be stopped. These strategic national infrastructures are actually national security assets and must be protected at all costs. I want to emphasise that national interest must override any sectional or group motives, and indeed how grievances are expressed in the polity.” 

Abbe said winning peace in the Niger Delta was urgent and should be the collective responsibility of every Nigerian as “Nigeria cannot afford the continuation of this tensed scenario in the Niger Delta, not just for the well being of the citizens in the area, but also at this time of economic downturn.”

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