The United States, U.S government has observed that things have not really changed in the Niger Delta region, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to engage in genuine dialogue with leaders of the Niger Delta on the platform of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PNDEF, at the proposed meeting to find lasting solution to the renewed militancy in the region.
The U.S Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Homeland Rights, Dr. Sarah Sewall stated this on Thursday during a visit to the Asokoro, residence of former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, in Abuja.
She continued that as the Niger Delta leaders meet with the President, they should be able to disabuse his mind and those of others against the impression that some individuals were being paid as against the interest of the general people of the zone.
Sewall, who pointed out that the zone needed attention and the problems confronting the zone and the country were enormous, stressed that the leaders at the meeting must present a principled position of fairness, justice and equity.
Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy Nigeria, David Young explained that Sewall’s visit was a follow up to the recent visit of US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to Nigeria, as well as the meeting of the governors at Washington DC, noting that there was the need for inclusive dialogue as the highest forum to solve the problem in the region.
Young was emphatic that the United States as a government was committed to peace in the region.
Speaking earlier, Clark, who clarified that nobody was thinking of people being paid without doing anything, as that was not the priority of the people of the zone, disclosed that the position of the region and what would be presented to the President at the meeting would be total provision of infrastructure in the Niger Delta for the general interest of the people.
Noting that the major issue was that the people of the region must be carried along, he assured that a long list would not be produced at the meeting, even as he urged the Federal Government to ensure fairness, equity and justice in the treatment of issues relating to everyone in the country.
Youth leaders from 19 ethnic nationalities from the Niger Delta region had earlier demanded their inclusion in the ongoing dialogue between Buhari and stakeholders for peace to reign in the region.
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