In a dialogue that will enhance the entrenchment of a lasting peace in the country, a former military Head of State on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to negotiate with the Niger Delta Avengers.
Abdulsalami Abubakar, President Buhari and Goodlcuk Jonathan after the signing of Peace Accord ahead of Presidential election in 2015
Speaking when he received members of the Niger State House of Assembly who visited him to congratulate him on his 74th birthday in Minna, former military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on Tuesday called on the President Buhari-led Federal Government to negotiate with the Niger Delta Avengers and other aggrieved groups in the country.
The former leader who disclosed that the dialogue would enhance the entrenchment of a lasting peace in the country, advised that all aggrieved groups should come together ‘to discuss their grievances and find a lasting solution to whatsoever could be bordering them so that peace will reign in Nigeria.’
He added, “All we need to do is to sit down in a roundtable and discuss this problem. Even if you fight a war and win you must come and sit down with the people you conquered. All the insecurity we are going through now is uncalled for. What is Boko Haram?
Nobody knows what they want. The Niger Delta Avengers are now out, what are they avenging?.”
Abdulsalami lamented that Nigerians were suffering unduly because of the actions of various insurgent groups such as the Boko Haram sect and the Avengers, and urged the Avengers to understand that they were destroying their land while oil production had dropped to the lowest level in decades.
He cautioned that the constant destruction of oil pipelines and oil facilities by the Niger Delta Avengers would ultimately affect the 13 per cent derivation being paid to states in the region due to decline in oil revenue.
The former military leader said that the activities of the militants would also lead to a drop in the funding of the Niger Delta Development Commission while much harm would be done to land and aquatic lives of the region.
“I hope that they will come back to their senses and let us try to give this country peace. We do not deserve what we are going through. We need peace and I am begging everybody in the spirit of Ramadan, whatever religion everybody is practising, please let us give peace a chance,” he pleaded.