Cleric sues for peace in Niger Delta
• Thursday, Oct 23, 2008Militants in Niger Delta have been urged to sheath their swords and allow President Umaru Yar’Adua to fully implement his development agenda for the region.
The Methodist Bishop of Aba , Rev. Christian Ede, made the call in an interview with our correspondent in Aba , while speaking on the crisis in the region and Federal Government’s initiatives.
Ede said that the creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta demonstrated Yar’ Adua’s priority attention to the region and his genuine intentions to bring succour to the people.
“The president has shown that he meant well for the region and I feel that the seven-point agenda, if fully implemented, will bring rapid development to the area,” the clergyman said.
“I, therefore, appeal to militants in the region to down their arms and give the Federal Government the opportunity to implement its action plan for the area,” he said.
He urged the president not to be dampened by the staggering resources required to effectively address the enormous problems of the region, saying that any amount spent on the region was justifiable.
He described the region as the goose that lays the golden egg, arguing that the oil reserve in the place could sustain the country for many more decades if the crisis was effectively arrested.
Ede further described the condition of life and the state of the environment in the region as “pathetic and pitiable”, pointing out that people of the region were living in abject poverty.
On Nigeria at 48, the cleric said that “the country is not stagnant”.
“We are moving forward and democracy has taken root and people are no longer afraid of a possible military intervention,” said the Methodist cleric.
He, however, advised Yar’Adua to adjust his style of administration, describing his pace as “too slow”, considering the enormity of the socio-economic crisis confronting the nation.
“I urge the president to change his gear.
“We cannot be too careful as not to make any progress.
“Even if we make mistakes, we should learn some lessons from such mistakes and still forge ahead,” he said.