The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for “listening to wise counsel” by opting to negotiate with the Niger Delta Militants, and suspending military action.
The government on Tuesday announced the immediate withdrawal of troops from Niger Delta communities, a day President Buhari ordered a two-week cessation of military action to allow talks.
Mr. Fayose, a major critic of the president, said Mr. Buhari “must face the reality that democracy is about negotiation and concession”.
He however said there must be display of absolute sincerity from the federal government such that the militants will have trust in the process.
According to a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor said that “the Niger Delta region as at today is still the golden goose laying the golden eggs on which all other regions are surviving and it will be suicidal for military action to be sustained against the militants”.
Governor Fayose who, in a statement last week Thursday, advised President Buhari to dialogue with the Niger Delta Militants, said he was happy that “for the first time, the President took to advise and suspended military actions in the Niger Delta and opted to dialogue with the militants”.
He said the president’s approach to civil unrests of any kind had caused more security problems in the country, adding that “the president must stop talking tough on issues that dialogue can
The governor said the hardline approach of President Buhari had already cost Nigeria billions of dollars in revenue, adding that; “If our daily crude oil production of 2.2 million barrels per day had been sustained, Nigeria would have been having savings in the Excess Crude Account by now.
“Crude oil bench mark is $38 per barrel while the oil is now being sold at $50 per barrel, meaning that we would have been having $12 per barrel saved in the Excess Crude Account.”
Governor Fayose called on members of the negotiation committee to see the assignment given to them as one that is highly important to the revival of the country’s economy, saying that they should not act in anyway that will suggest that they were not sincere.