By Chesa Chesa
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has admonished President Muhammadu Buhari to change his approach to solving security challenges in the Niger Delta for Nigeria to move forward.
Speaking to State House correspondents after he held a closed-door meeting with Buhari, the governor said that security issues should be handled outside partisan politics and that the governors of the Niger Delta were ever ready to cooperate with the President to ensure that insecurity in the region is tackled a.
Without giving more details of how exactly he would want Buhari to change tactics, Seriake said: “I am here to see the President and to confer with him on critical national issues and also to discuss issues that are pertinent to the stability, security and development of Bayelsa State and the Niger Delta region.
“And we had a very fruitful discussion and I am grateful to the President for the opportunity he afforded me to intimate him on the challenges and also of the prospects”.
He added that “I had a discussion with the President, he is the President and Commander-in-Chief, he is the leader of the country and these issues are beyond partisan politics and we had frank discussions.
“He understands the issues because he served in that region during the civil war when he was a younger officer; he is familiar with the challenges that I have come to discuss with him and I look forward to collaborating and working with the President with the security officials to advance security in the region.
“Governors of the Niger Delta region are doing a lot and we will continue to do our best, working with the security agencies; we should be apolitical in supporting constituted authorities in the states. We expect that this interaction will yield positive results,” he said.
Seriake, who noted that it was his first visit to Aso Rock since he was re-elected governor, disclosed that he also discussed the thorny issue of devolution of powers in the country with the President.
“We talked about the need to revisit the Brass energy; we talked about the need for change in approach to security management in the Niger Delta; we talked about the challenges of stabilising the Niger Delta and the need for federal support.
“We also talked about a whole range of other issues including what we think should be the final response to the ongoing debate about devolution and I believe that we had a very fruitful interaction,” said.
He explained further: “I was in Kaduna to confer with my brother friend and colleague the governor of Kaduna State. As you know, he chairs the APC panel on restructuring or devolution. And that panel as far as I am concerned did a good job.”