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– Elder statesman from the Niger Delta
region disclosed that Buhari is considering to
adopt Yar’Adua’s strategy to renew peace in
the oil-rich region
– The source also said that the police helped
late president as well as peace talks with
some militants
– Meanwhile, Buhari’s media aide Garba
Shehu denied dialogue as the solution for
the ongoing crisis
Niger Delta Avengers ready for dialogue with
the Nigerian government.
The Sun has obtained information that the
government of President Muhammadu Buhari
is planning to adopt late Umaru Yar’Adua’s
option in solving the crisis in the Niger Delta
region.
An elder statesman from the area who is
currently occupying a very delicate position in
the country revealed that the authorities have
realised that only the scheme adopted by the
ex-president could stop the renewed
militancy in the oil-rich region.
He said: “President Buhari has been prevailed
upon to reconsider his tough stance strategy
of using the military option in tackling the
menace as that would rather exacerbate the
situation.”
“Soon, you may see a new approach by the
Federal Government in the way and manner it
would handle the Niger Delta Avengers. Just
like late Yar’Adua did, it would be a carrot
and stick approach. The federal government
has realised that trying to use the military to
crush the militants may not be easy.
“When Yar’Adua came, he did not threaten
anybody, neither did he shoot any gun. He
simply adopted the dialogue approach and
gave the militants a sense of belonging.
Many did not believe it but it worked like
magic, ” the source added.
According to him, Yar’Adua worked with
many shareholders who the militants trusted
in achieving his purpose.
The statesman disclosed for example that
one of the core people, who assisted to
douse tension in the oil-rich region was the
former Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro
who is also from the Niger Delta.
The source added: “Many may not know that
Yar’Adua used the police authorities so well
in achieving his aim in the Niger Delta.
“I can tell you that it was Okiro who sold the
idea of the amnesty programme to Yar’Adua
and the presidency supported the move
through and through.
“Okiro was the intermediary between the
militants and Yar’Adua. The former IGP had
series of meetings with the president and the
militants before the programme took off.”
However, Buhari’s spokesman Garba Shehu
clarified that: “President Buhari recently said
the Gazette on the amnesty programme
should be dusted and, if there are
commitments the federal government made
that have not been fulfilled, government
would look at them…”
On June 29, 2009, late president Yar’Adua
gave amnesty to Niger Delta militants and
that commenced a long process of
restoration of peace to the Niger Delta states
crippled by militancy.
The recently emerged militant group Niger
Delta Avengers has been bombing critical oil
and gas facilities in the region since
February.

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