Okon Bassey in Uyo
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged not to treat the issues of the Niger Delta militants and Biafra like that of Boko Haram if the federal government is serious about resolving their grievances.
The Prelate Emeritus, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Sunday Mbang gave the advice at the weekend at his country home in Eket local government area of Akwa Ibom state during an interview with journalists.
He argued that while the Niger Delta militants and agitators for Biafra have given reasons for their actions, the grievances of the Boko Haram are not known to Nigerians.
“For Biafra and Niger Delta militants, if you ask them they have reasons why they are angry. Sit down with them and talk and try to sort out some of these problems. They are Nigerians; they have every right to ask questions when they are uncomfortable”.
He frowned upon the use of the military code name, “Operation Crocodile Smile”, as a way of quelling the grievances in the region.
“The truth is that you cannot use both military and dialogue to resolve the crisis in the Niger Delta. I would have preferred dialogue. Once you are talking about dialogue then you use military you defeat the purpose of dialogue.
“I must be sincere; the trouble in Niger Delta is not today trouble.
It is a trouble that has gone on for very long and I am sure people knows the solution to them but they decides to be dancing around what they know.
“The solution is not all they boys carrying the gun. These gun boys are working for people. You kill this today, tomorrow another one will come up.”