Professor of Physical/Nano Material Chemistry from the Department of Chemical Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Amassoma in Bayelsa State, Prof. Ezekiel Dikio, has said providing support for economic development and strengthening indigenous structures for peace building will reduce conflicts in the Niger Delta region.
Prof. Ezikiel who stated this while exchanging views with newsmen in Yenagoa at the weekend commended the federal government for hiring private contractors to secure its oil pipeline network in the Niger Delta described former Commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo as a well-rounded leader that provides guidance and inspiration to the youths across the region.
The university don said the uproar against the oil pipeline surveillance contract recently awarded to a company in which the ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemopolo (aka Tompolo), has interest was uncalled for, saying that Tompolo followed due process before the contract was awarded.
While aligning himself with the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kyari, Prof. Dikio maintained that despite the efforts of security agencies in the region, the decision by the federal government to use private contractors to secure the right of way to oil pipelines in the creeks of the Niger Delta should commended.
Prof. Dikio pointed out that poverty, unemployment and the absence of people-oriented policies by successive administrations have been the major cause of conflict in the region, reiterating that the deliberate steps being taken by the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to encourage collaboration and cooperation amongst peace actors and stakeholders in the region was a step in the right direction.
He said, the federal government’s peace building efforts are meant to establish and strengthen grassroots conflict resolution mechanisms targeted at creating enabling and peaceable environment for economic growth and holistic socio-economic development in the region, with a view to nipping crises on the bud.
Prof. Dikio also commended the peace building efforts of the former Commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), High Chief Government Ekpemupolo for his laudable peace building initiatives, just as he described him as a true leader that has garnered credibility across the Niger Delta and beyond.
He advised the youths of the region and all stakeholders to join force with Tompolo who many look up to as their role model and mentor to sustain the peace in the region.