– Senator Waku criticized militants in the Niger Delta region for their violent act
– He says the government should be tough on them
– He says Nigeria can survive without oil
Senator Joseph Kennedy N Waku who is a chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum has challenged the Niger Delta to drink their oil and they would hold on to their agriculture.
In an interview with Vanguard, Waku criticised militants in the Niger Delta region for blowing pipelines and trying to hold the government ransom.
When asked about what he thought about trying to dialogue with the militants, Waku said:
“What kind of dialogue? Let them bring to table what they want. Let them do what they are doing, they will also suffer it. Are they also not suffering when they ruin the economy? Are they not facing the same problem like you and I? They are talking of marginalization today.
If you create Biafra today, is Biafra solidly Igbo’s? It’s not. When you go there, you would find a southern minority who will tell you that they don’t want to be part of it, even among the Igbo. Some Igbo will tell you that they don’t want it. If there is definitive kind of discrimination against certain segments of the country, that needs to be addressed because injustice creates dissatisfaction. If there have been injustices against one particular group in this country, let’s address it and not by taking the law into their hands.
That is criminality. We are also affected but we want to take it in a matured approach. You cannot go and begin to destroy state apparatus in order to achieve your agitation, it is against the law. I am not in a position to talk about which contract was revoked because I am not involved in that.
If those contracts were illegally awarded without going through the due process and the current administration wants to follow due process, what is bad about that? Go and do your investigation on that contract to see whether the old law that qualifies one for such contracts were made. What do you award contracts to militants for? In the first place, the name ‘militant’ is criminality. It is only this country that somebody will come back and say I am a militant and then ‘you award him contract.’ If they claim to be agitators as they are saying, then let them come out with their demands and not by holding the state to ransom.”
“What do they need? Let them come out and tell government that ‘this has been our farmland, it has been devastated, we have no land to farm anymore’ and then bring a proposal to the federal government. This is how it should be done than issuing threats. If I were the president, I would have ended that thing by now.
“Yes, by closing the whole thing down. Before oil came, didn’t this country exist? So, what are you talking about? We have been blindfolded and Nigeria became so lazy, a nation of cheap money. Before the oil, we had cocoa, we had palm oil, groundnut and pyramid, and those were the things that actually helped to develop the oil.
“At a point, we in Benue challenged them that okay,’ let them go and drink their oil, we would eat our yams and then see who will survive.
You may read the full interview here.