Acting Governor of Delta State, Barrister Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, says the Federal Government (FG) remains committed to dialogue towards developing the Niger Delta.
In statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Communication and Press to the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Bulou Kosin, Otuaro, also Chairman, Delta State Advocacy Committee Against Oil Facility Vandalism, Sunday in Warri, reacted to the Niger Delta Avengers’ recent threat they would resume, in days, their suspended “Operation Red Economy” intended to cripple oil operations over perceived FG indifference to development of the Niger Delta region.
“PANDEF’s proposed meeting in Port-Harcourt allegedly disrupted by the FG and some delayed fulfillment of promises may not be evidence that the FG has abandoned its development agenda on the Niger Delta as suggested by the Avengers for planning resumption of hostilities against oil concerns,” Otuaro argued.
“Given the circumstances and the economy just improving for the FG, it makes more wisdom to wait and consummate the dialogue process which I assure has not collapsed. Sustaining the peace would enable the FG to capably meet the challenges of nation building including developing the Niger Delta,” Otuaro pleaded.
The Acting Governor said the Avengers’ threat, if actualized, would be counterproductive in more ways than one, including loss of lives of the unprotected people who could be the butt of military attacks and he therefore sued for more patience by the people of the Niger Delta.
“The Avengers’ offensive will erode gains already made by subsisting dialogue to which the FG remains committed and is designing a holistic approach to resolving the Niger Delta question,” Otuaro cautioned, adding: “NDA’s Operation Red Economy will halt whatever development projects that are ongoing in the region and possibly new ones conceived and expressed by the FG before the world which is watching. It would take the government of Nigeria, just exiting a recession, much revenue that is only now coming in to execute projects”.
He reminded: “The planned assault on oil installations will lead to massive environmental despoliation that will take several decades and funds to revamp and would, in the period, cause untold hardship for the people in the creeks. Several state governments across the country have found it difficult to pay, for several months, salaries largely derived from oil revenue leading to suffering.”
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER