The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has appealed to agitators in the Niger Delta to drop their arms and embrace dialogue with the Federal Government in resolving all their grievances.
Mr Isaac Onukwube, the State Director of NOA in Enugu State, made the plea in Enugu on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the economic impact of continuous blowing up of oil pipelines in the Niger Delta.
“Whereas government has a role to provide security, food and all that for people, citizens equally have a role to play in ensuring that they discharge their civic duties and obligations.
“As you expect government to provide for you, government equally expects you to play your role.
“One key role, which I expect Nigerians to play whether they are in the South East, South South, North East or wherever, is to show love to their fatherland.
“If you are patriotic, you love this country, you will not engage in anything that will turn into economic sabotage for the country.
“Yes, there are pockets of agitations, people are disillusioned and people think they are not included in government, people feel aggrieved, but you don’t resolve all these things by destroying the common-wealth.
“Because you are aggrieved, angry, think you have not been given opportunity, you go all out and to destroy oil wells, the only source of (foreign) revenue for this country, it means you don’t mean well for the country.
“My message, therefore, to my brothers and sisters who are involved in this is to tell them that they are engaging in economic sabotage.
“If we continue in the way they are doing, we would not build this country; we are talking about a period of economic recession, what is the value of oil today, even the small quantity we are getting, we are wasting it.
“We are destroying it, blowing up pipelines is not the way to go.
“The way to go is sheath your sword, possibly come to roundtable and discuss some of things over with Mr President.
“No amount of bombing of oil pipelines, or destruction of oil wells would make this country move forward.’’
The director, however, reminded the agitators of the environment degradation their activities was causing to their ancestral home-land, which might be difficult to reverse.
NAN recalls that well-meaning Nigerians including some from the same region as the agitators have sued for peace by asking them to embrace dialogue and peaceful resolution.