Fast-track Niger Delta peace process – Dickson tells FG

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has called on the Federal Government to fast-track the ongoing peace process in the Niger Delta, with a view to building consensus on the economic, political and security issues to achieve lasting peace in the region.

This came as the governor cautioned the All Progressives Congress, APC, against turning the nation’s security apparatus into its organs, arguing that this would spell doom for the nation.

Governor Dickson, who spoke at the wreath-laying ceremony of the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebrations in Yenagoa, expressed his administration’s commitment to partnering with stakeholders to maintain law and order in the state.

According to him, his government had no room for any form of criminality, including kidnapping, pipeline vandalism and sea piracy, and urged all aggrieved parties to adopt dialogue in resolving issues.

He also called on the leadership of the various security agencies in the country to handle the deployment of their officers and men in a manner that would promote the overall national interest, rather than attain partisan objectives.

He said: “We condemn the reckless deployment of security personnel for parochial reasons. This state, at the appropriate time, will resist it. Bayelsa State is ready to work with every security official deployed in the state to create a stable and enabling environment to protect lives and our strategic national assets.”

He maintained that Bayelsa and the entire Niger Delta region could not make any meaningful progress in terms of investments and job creation in a state of insecurity, and stressed the need for all to work together to achieve enduring peace and development.

While appreciating the sacrifices and contributions of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the governor particularly lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the various service chiefs for the recent successes recorded in the fight against insurgency in the North East.

Dickson, who commended President Buhari for directing his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to visit states of the Niger Delta, announced the state government’s readiness to receive and engage the Federal Government team in a productive dialogue.

Meanwhile, Governor Dickson, who cautioned the All Progressives Congress, APC, against abusing the nation’s security apparatus, when he spoke weekend in Abuja, where he went to pay the state’s N422 million counterpart funding for a water programme with the World Bank, UNICEF and the European Union, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta, observed that that the impression that APC members could use the nation’s security organizations against their political opponents at will, was fast gaining currency in the country.