Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barr. Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, has called on suspected militant group, ‘New Niger-Delta Avenger’ to give peace a chance saying that the Delta State Advocacy Committee Against Oil Facility Vandalism which he chairs is always open to engagement with any aggrieved group for positive advancement of the oil rich Delta state and Nigeria at large.
Otuaro spoke in reaction to threats by self-styled militant group, ‘New Delta Avengers’ which vowed to strike oil facilities earlier than it stated in its ultimatum, over alleged neglect of oil communities by the state government.
Speaking to newsmen at the weekend, Otuaro advised that approach to agitation should not be counter-productive, stressing: “destructive activities could constitute security risk to both ongoing jobs in the state and the environment for survival of our people”.
The Deputy Governor insisted that destruction of oil facilities on which revenue largely depends cannot advance the development aspiration of the people.
He therefore appealed to any group truly driven by developmental concern for the oil communities to rather resort to the superior power of dialogue to which the state government is open via the Advocacy Committee.
Otuaro, who served as Advocacy Committee Chairman at the peak of the renewed insurgency in the state had been involved in peace shuttles that halted a prolonged spate of vandalism last year and hence improved oil production output till date.
He re-emphasised that Delta State Government remain poised to change the face of oil communities.
“The State Government was committed to oil communities and has approved projects for the areas. The results will soon be visible for commissioning”, Otuaro said.
Contributed by Bulou Kosin