Uyo – Sen. Emmanuel Ibokessien has advised the Niger Delta youths to eschew violence to enhance the development of the region.
Ibokessien, who represented Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial district in the National Assembly between 1999 and 2003, said this on Friday in Uyo.
He was delivering an address at the South South Leadership and Advancement Awards night organised by Niger Delta Peace and Unity Movement (NDPUM).
The senator said that the region has remain undeveloped despite the enormous human and natural resources available in it.
According to him, the region ought to have developed better and be a shinning light to other parts of the country.
“For us to develop in the Niger Delta, we must allow peace to prevail. It does not mean that we have to allow people trample on us,” he said.
The senator reminded the youth to be peaceful in their demands, adding that the abrogation of the off shore and on shore dichotomy did not come easy.
“We are enjoying the 13 per cent derivation today because some of us were ready to sacrifice our lives.
“I do not support militancy, but you can drive home your point without shooting a bullet,” he said.
The senator said that he would support restructuring towards bringing peace and encouraging each region to work for itself.
He urged every part of the country to join hands and develop the region, adding that the region has been devastated by oil exploration and exploitation for over 50 years now.
Earlier, the Project Coordinator of NDPUM, Mr Kelly Onyale, commended the leaders of the region for their steadfastness in ensuring development in the area. (NAN)