Governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole, has declared that no part of the country can do without the other, adding that Nigeria’s existence as a united country remains non-negotiable.
Oshiomhole further called on political leaders to come together and fashion out ideas that will see to the end of bombing of oil installations in the Niger Delta by militants under the aegis of Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, warning that the time of ethnic champions are over as “nobody will benefit from blowing up pipelines.”
The governor, was speaking at the Presidential Villa shortly after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari. He applauded the president’s response to stop the sabotage on oil installations, saying the state should not submit to blackmail.
For the past few months, the NDA has blown up crude oil facilities of major oil companies in the region, crippling oil exports, while the military has responded with massive deployment of arsenal in operations to fish out the culprits.
The governor said that the destruction of the oil facilities by any group would not be of benefit to anybody but cause more pollution and hardship on the people of the region.
According to him, the president has acted well so far and had succeeded in ‘sending the message out.’
“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. The sooner we accept this reality, the better it is for all of us.
“The days of ethnic champions and imaginary divides will not help anyone. I believe that the president has shown leadership, he has shown determination to keep the country going and for once we are enjoying respect in world capitals, in different continents.
“Part of the challenge we are facing today is that quite a number of our young people are out of job, even in our budget, the president on his own without prompting, decided to devote as much as half a trillion naira to social investments that is targeted at the poorest among us.
“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 pretences, there is something Abiola said which I think is apt in this case, that is if 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.”