All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Senator Joseph Kennedy Waku has spoken on the recent upsurge of violence in the Niger Delta.
Waku also commented on the Biafra agitation during an interview with Vanguard.
What is your reaction to the renewed insurgency by militants in the Niger Delta?
In the first place, what were the offences committed by these people before they were pardoned? Are they not criminals? If I were the president, I would jail them.
So, are you ruling out dialogue as proposed by some people as a way of resolving the problem?
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 Igbos?
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.
Giving the adverse effects of their actions, will it not be better to seek dialogue?
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.
How would you have done it?
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.’