Adams Oshiomhole, governor of Edo state, has advised the federal government not to submit to blackmail of the Niger Delta Avengers, the militant group leading the attack on oil installations in the country.
He said the country deserves respect from all, appealing to political elite to assist in promoting and strengthening the bridge of unity.
He said this while fielding questions from state house correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I don’t think the state should submit to blackmail, for me I think the state should be respected,” he said.
“When you are dealing with security issues the options are not best discussed in the media. What I can say is that this president deserves the support of everyone and there is no part of Nigeria that can be better off without the other part.”
“The sooner we accept this reality the better it is for all of us. The days of ethnic champions and imaginary divide will not help anyone. I believe that the president has shown leadership, he has shown determination to keep the country going, for once we are enjoying respect in world capitals, in different continents.
“We don’t need to be security experts to accept the universal truth that wherever there is insecurity there will be no investment because no investor will go to where is unsafe. And where there is no investment poverty will be endemic because there will be no job for our people.
“I appeal to all of us in the south-south, we need to wake up, it is for our own self interest that we make the region the most investor friendly that even challenges that we face, the assets being destroyed is not just national assets, it is our own assets. It is what makes the south-south the hub of the Nigerian economy and when we neutralise that through whatever pretenses, there is something Abiola said which I think is apt in this case, that is, a tree falls in the forest chances are it can only kill somebody in that forest, not somebody at home.
“So if somebody for whatever reasons decide to destroy pipelines and thereby compounding the problem of pollution, the cost of cleaning up that area making it attractive either for fishing, farming or other business is a huge cost. Cost not just in naira and kobo, cost in terms of time and in terms of human lives.
“But to compound those problems by breaking pipelines, stealing crude oil and destroying farmlands, destroying water ways, I don’t see anybody benefiting from that. So is very unfortunate, I think is important to say that the Nigerian state must not be demystified by gunmen and accept that the environment will be governed by gunmen.”
He commended the government for its commitment to the cleanup of Ogoni land, appealing to the people to assist the current administration.