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Military option is not the solution to Niger Delta crisis – Dickson

…Drones will not stop us – Niger Delta Avengers

The Governor of Bayelsa state Seriake Dickson who just won the Governorship election case at the Tribunal against the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Timpre Sylva said on Wednesday that military option is not the solution to the crisis in the Niger Delta. The Governor told State House correspondents after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, that dialogue is the ultimate solution to the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta region.

He urged the political leaders in the region to mobilise various stakeholders to resolve the problems. According to Dickson, “I have said the issues in the Niger Delta, the terrain, the historic nature of the issues and challenges are such that military solution may not be the way forward. For us who are products of political system at this level, we have a duty to mobilise communal and local leadership, we have a duty to support the work intelligence and security agencies are doing, we have a duty to ensure that issues are better appreciated and that we fill the communication gap.

He also said “where there are issues, those issues need be addressed and it is also our duty to network like I’m doing now, to ensure that problems that are identified as the root cause of some of these challenges are looked into. The military solutions as I have always maintained is not the right option. We are hopeful that the on-going discussions will yield the desired result.

He added that he has “always been in support of negotiation, of dialogue as the sustainable way forward. Dialogue will bring out the issues and then we will all unite around these common issues to move our country forward.”

On his discussion with President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Seriake Dickson said “ 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.”

Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has warned the Federal Government that the deployment of drones will not stop them. The militants said President Muhammadu Buhari is not sincere with his call for dialogue, while at the same time procuring drones to fight the insurgencies in the region. According to the NDA spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo, the Federal Government was using delay tactics to kick start the much awaited dialogue with militants in the region to give it time to import drones from Europe and the United States to tackle insurgency in the region. They vowed to stop the export of crude oil.

In a statement by the spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo, the NDA said “Mr President, you can purchase all the drones in Europe and United States; it won’t stop the Niger Delta Avengers from bringing the country’s economy to zero. The worse you can do is to kill poor innocent people which the military is good at, but know that the Nigerian economy will suffer.”