Niger Delta Crisis: South African Envoy Urges Dialogue

By Alex Enumah in Abuja
As the Niger Delta militants continue their onslaught against oil facilities in the region, the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, has advocated the use of dialogue in resolving the issue which has considerably depleted the nation’s oil production output as well as revenue.
While regretting that the number of lives lost in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa could have been saved had they embraced dialogue earlier on, he stressed that no meaningful development can take place under a crisis situation.
He commended Nigeria’s efforts at weeding terrorism out of the country particularly, in the northeast, adding that the resources used in curtailing terrorism can be used in bring development to the country.
The envoy, who was speaking Tuesday night in Abuja, at a ceremony to mark the 22nd anniversary of South Africa, used the occasion to re-assure Nigeria of his nation’s commitment towards the growth and development of Nigeria and the entire African continent.
“Nigeria is faced with terrorism.  As South Africans we are concerned with such development and it is our wish that this is brought to an end so that the money that is used to contain terrorism can be used for development.
“The issue of the Niger Delta, we also hoped that Nigeria as one people will come to discuss among themselves so that they can bring this to an end so that they can easily develop. Nigeria has the potential to become a great country in Africa which of course would also be to the benefit of other African countries.
“Our wish is that you discuss with yourself and resolved the issue because we as South Africans when we started discussing with the apartheid regime we asked our self a question, why didn’t we engage in discussion earlier on?  Many lives were lost before we could sit down to talk. So we hope that Nigeria also as one people would come together and have a peaceful resolution of their challenges” he said.