The Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Mr Wole Oke, has advised Niger Delta indigenes to ensure that criminals do not hijack their genuine demand for development.
Oke, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan, asked people from the region to desist from using the Niger Delta struggle for criminal activities.
“Most of the people who are involved in these activities are criminals and they are not from the region, because if they are genuine Niger Delta indigenes, they will be agitating for government attention.
“How can you describe a situation where people say they are fighting for their right in the name of ensuring the provision of social amenities for the region and yet they are involved in kidnapping themselves?,â€™â€™ he asked.
The lawmaker said the situation in the region had become worrisome, adding that government was sincere about restoring peace to the region.
“Government has also granted the militants in the region amnesty and the people should take advantage of this.
“Government is working tirelessly to ensure that peace returns to the region; it is purely a security matter; I cannot disclose the details but very soon, crisis in the region will become a thing of the past,â€™â€™ he added.
On the statement credited to the U.S. Secretary of state, Mrs Hilary Clinton, who visited the country earlier in the week, the lawmaker said that Clinton generalised on the situation in the country.
“Clinton generalised; you donâ€™t rubbish a government like that; how can she condemn our government when the government is doing everything possible to restructure the country.
“The journey of a thousand miles starts with a step; government is trying its best in the effort to reposition the country and I think we should give it a chance,â€™â€™ the lawmaker said.