Former Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has advised the Federal Government to consider engagement and dialogue as an option towards arresting the upsurge of militancy in the Niger Delta.
Recent attacks by the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has crippled oil and gas production from Delta/Bayelsa axis of the Niger Delta and the ex-governor said peaceful engagement is the best option available.
The former governor who was a key player in the amnesty offer to former militants, said the engagement should be between regional leaders on one hand and another between the leaders and the Federal Government.
Uduaghan, who spoke in the wake of unrelenting attacks on facilities in the Warri area, especially those of Chevron Nigeria, lamented that:
“The bombings are damaging our environment and it will take several years to rebuild.
“I want to advise the Federal Government to take the issue of dialogue very seriously because I believe that is the solution to the current crisis.
“The leaders of the Niger Delta should come together and engage ourselves to find solution to the problem.”
Speaking on rumour that there are external forces involved in the latest attacks, he said, “I do not think so because there is enough of issues in the region to cause what’s happening.
Dr Uduaghan also advised his successor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, to step up dialogue, engagement and improve on intelligence gathering to assist the Federal Government in dealing with the situation.
He advised those behind the attacks to rethink their action because of the economic challenges it is posing for the nation and ecological destruction to their region.