Militancy: Uduaghan appeals for restraint, dialogue

Solomon Chung, Port Harcourt

Activities of the Niger Delta militants in the oil rich region are detrimental to the economy and land of the area, former governor of Delta state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has said.

He however said in as much as what the militants popularly known as Avengers are doing is detrimental to the areas environment, it was a good idea for the Federal Government to treat the matter with a carrot and stick approach.

He disclosed this at the 12 annual All Nigeria Editors Conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on Thursday.

According to him, it would also be wise to involve the state governors of the region in handling the engagement and discussions with the militants so as to avoid the mistake of the amnesty programme where the state governors were not participants in the process and activities.

“I want to call on our brothers that are engaged in this activity to note that it is our environment that is suffering the impact of the pipeline burst. Once the other parts of the country are ready to embark on their activities without oil, the Niger Delta would be in trouble because we’ll be left with damaged environment and would take so long to fix.”

He also charged the media to use their platform to set agenda for the society agenda that would promote agriculture.

Prawns and Lobsters

In his remark at the conference, veteran Journalist and former Ogun State Governor Mr. Olusegun Osoba has advocated the use of the Niger Delta off shore land for farming, particularly in prawns and lobsters for adequate subsistence and export.

He said all Nigerians must start thinking agriculture because that is the future and there is no alternative to it regardless of educational attainment.

“If you don’t have interest in farming then your education is wasted. All the great countries in the world are so because they are able to feed themselves. If you cannot feed yourself as a nation then you are doomed.”

He said with the great land given to Nigeria by God there was no reason we should go hungry or even import food to eat.

“Nigeria is the only country where you would grow any plant and watch it grow because the soil is rich. Agriculture is the back born of every economy and the future and as such, there is no option,” he explained.

The Conference which was organised by the Nigeria Guild of Editors started on Thursday and will last till Saturday. The theme of this year’s conference borders on economic diversification tagged Economic Diversification: Agriculture as option for a prosperous Nigeria.