The outgoing Deputy Consul-General of the United States, U.S, in Lagos, Ms Dehab Ghebreab, has advised Niger-Delta youths to desist from every form of militancy, noting that the violence perpetrated by militants affects not only Nigerians but people of other countries.
Ghebreab, who spoke while addressing journalists in Lagos, harped on the need for the militants to channel their grievances to the government, rather than engaging in the destruction of facilities.
According to her, “Youths in the Niger-Delta should not resort to violence because violence is really destructive.
“They need to know that violence or militancy does not only affect people living in their region, but may also affect other countries.
“They should know that foreign companies are also doing businesses in Nigeria and that some may just want to come to Nigeria, but would only be ready to invest in places where their businesses would be safe,’’ she said.
Ghebreab, who acknowledged ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to ensure peace in the region, enjoined the government to redouble its efforts at making the planned dialogue with the militants a reality.
The U.S. official pointed out that the Nigerian government would through dialogue come to terms with the militants’ grievances, and see to the possibility of addressing their needs and aspirations.
“We strongly believe that it is important that Niger-Delta youths engage in meaningful dialogue with the government, for government to know their grievances. “During this dialogue, it would become easier for the government to know what the issues really are and be able to solve them,’’ she said.
The deputy consul-general further harped on the need for the various levels of governance in the Niger-Delta to be proactive in the management of the militants’ grievances.
Ghebreab reiterated Washington’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in coming up with programmes that would constructively engage Nigerian youths, adding that her government had been supporting the Federal, State and Local Governments in the empowerment of the Niger-Delta youths.