Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, has reaffirmed that dialogue remains the best option to the amicable resolution of the security challenges bedevilling the Niger Delta region.
He therefore called on the Federal Government to engage in dialogue with the youths, “because military option is not a solution” to the problems in the Niger Delta.
The Governor, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, made the observation on Saturday in Warri, Delta State, during a meeting of Ijaw leaders and elders of thought to brainstorm on the way forward for the Ijaw ethnic nationality.
The meting was attended by Ijaw leader and First Republic Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark; Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro; former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Sir Gabriel Toby; and one time Minister of Aviation, Alabo Tonye Graham Douglas.
Others are former Executive Director (Finance) in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Pastor Power Aginighan; President of Ijaw National Congress (INC), Chief Boma Obuoforibo; former chairman, Bayelsa State Flood Committee, Chief Francis Doukpola; Ebenanaowei of Ogulagha Kingdom, King Joseph Timiyan and Amakosu of Ogbe-Ijoh, Warri Kingdom, King Kopul Orumini.
Dickson who applauded the efforts of Clark and other prominent leaders for championing the cause of the people, urged them to work together for peaceful co-existence of the region and the country as a whole.
The governor said he was at the meeting “to lend support to the on-going discussions for the enthronement of peace, stability and development of the Niger Delta area.”
According to him, Ijaw leaders and elders have always provided leadership and support to the various state governments where the Ijaw people are domiciled towards strengthening the bond of unity and protection of the collective interests of the Ijaw nation.
Dickson reiterated his administration’s preparedness to continue to contribute its quota to the wellbeing and development of the Ijaw nation as leader of the only homogeneous state for the Ijaw people.
He said, “I have always said that there are issues which call for collaboration that are not to be resolved by war. I have said that there is no need for war in the Niger Delta; certainly not in Ijawland but rather we should dialogue.
“A few days ago, most of you must have heard comments that I made to the right authorities along the same line and I am delighted that our leaders of the Ijaw nation are thinking along those lines. I am talking about the need for dialogue, peace and development of our states and ultimately the country at large.”
Dickson who offered to host the next edition of the meeting in no distant time, expressed appreciation to all Ijaw leaders for their commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of the people.