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Dialogue with militants – my take



New militant group to FG: Give us Niger Delta State, or else...,

Ok, I thought it was a joke until I got jolted into naked reality when I saw the press clip saying that the Minister of State for Petroleum had met with the Niger Delta Avengers.

Which responsible Government does that? negotiate with those who have used violence to press their agenda.

This to me has conferred legitimacy on their agitation. It has shown serious government recognition thereby passing a strong positive signal to other groupings that you can only get government to listen by upping the tempo of violence or targeting strategic economic interest of the government, and once this is the case you can no longer contain the emergence of little militia all over the place.

There is a reason countries like the U.S do not negotiate with terrorists and in the process lost so much in terms of human and material resources. The terrorists usually send pictures or videos of their citizens begging for help but the countries though touched by the plight of its citizens never ever accede to their demands. The reason for this is very simple; you can never control the agitation once you open that door.

Read also: Militants, cable TV and the fight for the Niger Delta

Instead of wasting time and energy in negotiating, they concentrate energies in building more capacity on intelligence gathering and pre-emptive strike. The terrorists know that for them it’s usually a certain death once they have crossed that line. The Israelis are adept at this; they make sure they obliterate the families of these terrorists thereby weakening the support system that usually breeds this. Whether this has been effective or not is a matter for another day.

For us, we are now sending very top government functionaries to go sit down with loonies. Get this straight; this is not like the Ojukwu-led civil war which was brought about by the obvious agitation for self-determination.

This is a rag tag army of semi-literate ones who after the sharing of the loot that comes out of the activity really are not interested in the vision of ideology behind the war for self-control.

I think this is a mistake, but if government has decided to toe this line, then they must go to the negotiating table with the Biafran people, Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen including all the men who have lately been killing their wives.

Seriously, government should have a rethink of this policy and immediately work with its international counter parties to stem this violence induced process there by pushing all genuine concerns through the constitutionally spelt out structures for conflict negotiation and resolution.

My take.

By Joseph Edgar . . . .

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