Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Friday night assured that President Muhammadu Buhari is not thinking of using the military to resolve the Niger Delta crisis.
Instead, he maintained that the President is desirous of using dialogue to find a lasting solution to the problem.
The Minister spoke when he attended a meeting of prominent leaders from the coastal states in the region, including representatives of the various ethnic groups – Isoko, Ijaw, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ibiobio and others.
The meeting was convened by Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, in reaction to last Thursday’s visit to the Minister by Ijaw monarchs.
Kachikwu maintained that there was nothing to justify the over S40 billion dollars allocated to the Niger Delta region in the past 12 years through various intervention agencies.
He declared in the presence of monarchs, youth leaders, politicians and Secretary of MEND, “I’ve been to the creeks myself and discovered that there was no meaningful development of the riverine communities as expected by the Federal Government with the huge amount disbursed to the region.
The minister urged the leaders to prevail on their youths to allow peace to reign in the region, noting that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of violence.
He told the Niger Delta leaders that he is committed to the development of the region, promising to come out soon with short and long term plans in that direction.