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Niger Delta elders give Buhari condition for dialogue with militants

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President of the South-South Chiefs and Council of Elders (SSCE), Dr Abdulwahab Udosen, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw soldiers from the oil region if he wants dialogue.

Udosen, who made this call in an interview in Abuja on Friday, added that the Federal Government should avoid using forceful actions against the Niger Delta militants in efforts to stop them from attacking oil and gas installations in the region.

He cautioned that the region was not a war zone. He said it was the situation in the area that led to the wanton events in the area.

“We the traditional rulers in the Niger Delta are talking to our children to be calm, and embrace dialogue and peace. We don’t want violence; you people should drop arms and let’s maintain peace.

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“We have told President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw soldiers from the South-South because the region is not a place of war. If you (Buhari), want dialogue withdraw soldiers and we the kings and chiefs will talk to our children. They are our youths, they will obey us,” he said.

He however appealed to the youths not to take up arms against their states nor break pipelines since doing so amounts to destroying their own property and environment.

He promised them that the president “will listen to your plea, he is supportive.”

By Ebere Ndukwu …

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