– In his recent interview, Femi Adesina explains the main challenge in the talks with Niger Delta militants
– He admits that the country is facing hard times, but he assured that President Buhari share the pains of Nigerians
– Buhari’s aide said that the families of government officials are also passing through tough times
The presidency has disclosed how President Muhammadu Buhari is planning to return the peace for the Niger Delta region.
Femi Adesina, presidential media aide, was on Radio Continental on July 22 and responded to salient issues affecting the nation.
Speaking on the crisis in oil rich Niger Delta region, Adesina said: “The government is not averse to negotiation. Even when things are done through force of arms, at the end of the day, they would be concluded through negotiations.
“The president specifically instructed the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to engage in dialogue with the militants. One problem is that there are scores of groups in the Niger Delta, not just a group. When they meet with one, the rest would say they are fake and a particular one is the real one. This is a major challenge.”
Presidency assured that they know that things are very difficult in the country. Buhari’s aide, however, stated that it is not peculiar to Nigeria, as a number of countries like Venezuala are going through tough times.
“Nigeria is not immune from that because it is part of the global system. In the recent past, on a radio interview, I had been asked: ‘Does government know that people are suffering and that people are complaining?’ I answered that government is aware of what the citizens are passing through, and the radio station went further to ask if I know that a man exchanged his son for a bag of rice? And I responded that I wasn’t aware, but that the support base of this administration is still very strong, and people who are ready to pass through this difficult times patiently are more than those who criticize the governments,” he added.
“Our wives and children go to the market, we also feel the harsh situation. Yes, Nigerians are passing through tough times, but tough times don’t last , only tough people do. I said, and I repeat again, that the tough times we are going through are the consequences of the past. But some people say they don’t want to hear about the past. How can you not want to hear about the past? How do you determine the future if you don’t want to hear about the past?”
President Buhari has announced recently that his government is talking to militants in the Niger Delta to end a wave of attacks on oil and gas facilities which have drastically cut oil production.
Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group that has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks, said it was not aware of any talks.