By Charles Kumolu
LAGOS—RIGHTS activist, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has called on the Federal Government to ensure that the imminent dialogue over the current Niger Delta crisis was not restricted to political leaders and other familiar leaders from the Niger Delta region alone, noting that the consultation should be all encompassing.
She also cautioned that using the same set of people and patterns to find a solution to the conflict would not provide the results needed to end the perennial crisis.
Lori-Ogbebor further denied media reports that she accused a former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark of provoking the current crisis, describing same as misleading.
Briefing newsmen, yesterday, in Lagos, she urged the government to accommodate patriotic, selfless and visionary people with a deep understanding of the narratives in the region so as to achieve lasting peace.
According to her: “It is only a year ago since Goodluck Jonathan handed over power to President Buhari and accountability is being asked suddenly like what happened in the past. We are hearing rumours of war and stakeholders are meeting again. We are being asked to dialogue with the Federal Government. Are we saying that the Federal Government did not take care of us? Are we saying that Goodluck Jonathan did not look after his people? He did his best. He gave these institutions money but what did these stakeholders do with the money?
“ In the meantime, we request these unemployed youths to please put down their guns and let us find peaceful solutions to our problems. And for the politicians and stakeholders, we ask you to give us peace so that we can redirect our focus to immediate employment and education. There at least seven ethnic nationalities in the region, we must all agree on a cause of action. There are many of us who cannot be led by selfish and greedy men, who have failed us.”