Lai Mohammed: Minister urges Niger Delta militants to embrace diplomacy

President Muhammadu Buhari launches “Change Begins With Me’’ campaign in Abuja on September 8, 2016

Lai Mohammed has urged warring militants in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria to embrace diplomacy and shun violence to promote the greater goals of the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Thursday called on Niger Delta militants to shun violence and embrace diplomacy.

Mohammed made the call in his address at the command screening of the movie, “Oloibiri’’, in Abuja.

“It is remarkable that the first thing we did when we came into power was to address injustice that has been perpetrated for so long in the Niger Delta.

“We also started the Ogoniland cleanup not too long ago.

“That is why I am here with the Minister of Environment, some members of the National Assembly and other relevant stakeholders,’’ he said.

Mohammed said that the movie, “Oloibiri’’, portrayed the fact that diplomacy could not be replaced with violence.

“Oloibiri teaches us that with violence, there are no victors,’’ he added.

The minister stressed that the movie’s release was timely because some youths had resorted to destroying the country’s infrastructure in order to express their anger.

Mohammed said that the movie was an appeal to the militants that Nigeria belonged to all Nigerians.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the event was attended by personalities from the culture and tourism sector, the movie industry as well as the diplomatic corps.

NAN also reports that the movie was produced by Rightangle Productions; in collaboration with Theatron Media of Canada and Grey house Films of the U.S.

Oloibiri is a community in Bayelsa State where the first crude oil exploitation in Nigeria started in 1958.

The main objective of the movie is to creatively present a deeper understanding of some critical issues in the Niger Delta area so as to forge a stronger partnership with relevant stakeholders in efforts to boost community relations in Nigeria’s oil-producing areas Nigeria.

Although the film has yet to be premiered, it has been test-screened at the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival in France.

It has also won some international awards such as the Best Foreign Film Award at 2016 San Diego Black Film Festival in the U.S. and the Best Film in Water Category at 2016 Green Me Global Festival for Sustainability in Lagos.


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