An elder in Bayelsa State and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Christopher Abarowei said on Thursday that violence is a major factor militating against the development of the Niger Delta region.
Abarowei in a statement released in Yenagoa advised the Niger Delta Avengers and other aggrieved youths to halt their attacks on pipelines and other oil installations in the region.
He noted that each time a pipeline is ripped off, the progress and development of the region takes a quantum leap backward.
Abarowei who is the Coordinator, APC Integrity Group said the ongoing destruction of pipelines was affecting mainly the economy of the states in the region lamenting that Bayelsa could no longer pay salaries of its workers.
“It is high time the avengers realized the fact that their activities apart from creating environmental degradation and pollution in the region are also negatively affecting the entire people in the zone making it impossible for a state like Bayelsa to pay salaries,” he said.
Abarowei wondered why the activities of the avengers were only restricted to Bayelsa and Delta and called on the governors of the two states to assist the Federal Government in finding a lasting solution to the problem.
While advising youths to champion the course of the region through intellectual engagements, he advised the avengers to embrace the dialogue proposed by the government.
He said, “Violence and criminality will not eradicate or address the issues of years of neglect of the oil-rich Niger Delta region. We must adopt a more civil and articulated attitude towards changing the face of the struggle.
“This is urgently required to see the agitation succeed with the support of other ethnic nationalities. We cannot continue to destroy our homes in the name of agitation that lines the pockets of a few and impoverishes the entire masses.
“The silence of the elites in Bayelsa is becoming too worrisome as their silence indicates a tacit support to the activities of the avengers whose militant agitation was on sabbatical during the six years our brother, former President Goodluck Jonathan held sway”.
Abarowei appealed to the militants to give the administration of APC and President Muhammadu Buhari a chance to fulfill their marks of development in the region.
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