Rep. Leo Ogor, the Minority Leader, House of Representatives, has urged the Federal Government to listen to the grievances of the Niger Delta militants and apply wisdom in dealing with the issues.
Ogor made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the lawmaker, once that is done, the President will be able to apply the principles of negotiation to end the “unnecessary destruction” in the area.
“It is your core responsibility to call on them and say: `My children, what are your complaints? Let me give you a fatherly advice.”
“And I think Mr President should look at this possibility because he could achieve more by negotiating, discussing and listening and (he will be able to approach the issue with great wisdom).
“The avengers are not staying in the town, they are all living in the creeks and for us to start arresting innocent men, women, chiefs of communities, I think we are adopting a very wrong step.
“My I appeal to Mr President is he should first and foremost adopt the negotiating principles and where they fail, he can probably try and wield the stick.
“Let there be some level of carrot and stick approach; be able to speak to these people because they are all human beings and I’m sure that all this unnecessary destruction that is going on will be stopped.”
Ogor urged the Niger Delta Avengers to bear in mind that their destructive activities could lead to further pollution of the area, a development, which he said, could lead to hunger in the land.
“I have always appealed to the people of the Niger Delta especially the Avengers.
“I tell them that, look this land is your land, the more polluted the land is, the more difficult it will become for us to clean because the ecological system of that land will change forever.
“We cannot get fish from our rivers anymore, we can’t farm on our land anyone, the water is polluted.
“So we can’t even drink water anymore and these people that are actually benefiting are not living in these areas.
“Sometimes, you don’t smoke the house just because there is a rat in the house.
“Gradually, let’s be able to guide the rat out of the house and Mr President also, before you is a bull in the China shop, be diplomatic in how you get it out of the China shop.”