The outgoing Deputy Consul-General of the United States in Lagos, Ms. Dehab Ghebreab, yesterday advised Niger Delta youths to desist from every form of militancy.
Ghebreab told journalists in Lagos that it was imperative for the militants to channel their grievances to the government, rather than engaging in the destruction of facilities.
“Youths in the Niger Delta should not resort to violence because violence is really destructive.
“They need to know that violence or militancy does not only affect people living in their region, but may also affect other countries.
“They should know that foreign companies are also doing businesses in Nigeria and that some may just want to come to Nigeria, but would only be ready to invest in places where their businesses will be safe,’’ she said.
Ghebreab, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), noted the federal government’s ongoing efforts at ensuring peace in the region, enjoining the government to redouble its efforts at making the planned dialogue with the militants a reality.
The US official said that through dialogue, the Nigerian government would be able to come to terms with the militants’ grievances, and see to the possibility of addressing their needs and aspirations.
“We strongly believe that it is important that Niger Delta youths engage in meaningful dialogue with the government, for government to know their grievances.
“During this dialogue, it would become easier for the government to know what the issues really are and be able to solve them,’’ she said.
The deputy consul-general also said that it was imperative for the various levels of governance in the Niger Delta to be proactive in the management of the militants’ grievances.
Ghebreab restated the US government’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in coming up with programmes that would constructively engage Nigerian youths.
She said her government had been supporting the federal, state and local governments in the empowerment of the Niger Delta youths.