All embracing dialogue, panacea to N-Delta crisis —Okowa

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By Festus Ahon

ASABA—WORRIED by the persistent attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, has said that an all-embracing dialogue involving all stakeholders, including foreign interests was the only panacea to the crisis in the region.

Lamenting that the Niger Delta crisi has crippled oil production in the country, Okowa said: “The oil companies, the Federal Government and all stakeholders should sit down and create the environment that will engender lasting peace in the Niger Delta.”

The governor, when he played host to the Deputy Chief of Mission, United States of America’s, embassy in Nigeria, Mr David Young in Asaba, said: “The more we dialogue, the more we are going to find solutions.

“It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation because of the mono-economy which is not good enough for the country,” he said, adding that his administration was making efforts to ensure peace and for aggrieved parties to adopt dialogue.

“It appears that we are beginning to see results and peace is returning to the region because we cannot have meaningful solutions through military approach; we are encouraging agitations by dialogue because, we can achieve greater success without destroying our economic facilities.”

Thanking the American government for its interests in the affairs of Nigeria, especially in the area of achieving peace in the Niger Delta region, he said that his administration was doing a lot to empower the youths through different skill acquisition programmes.

Mr David Young in his address, said he was in the state as part of his fact-finding mission to the Niger Delta.

Young said, “The US believes that dialogue is very important in resolving grievances, we encourage Nigerians to exploit mechanisms for dialogue in moving forward.”

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