It is not everyday a sitting president eats the humble pie. And that’s why one of the best decisions President Buhari has taken since coming into office was not going into an all-out war with the Niger Delta Avengers. It was not only tactical but strategic. While some avowed defenders of the regime as well as that of the president sit in their rooms and keep spewing inanities at, not just one person, but a whole ethnic group, the man seemed to know when to play the fool. It was a nice move.
Not only this, the president also hosted leaders from the region last week where he appealed for patience and understanding while promising that the Amnesty Programme would be looked into again to determine what and what remains to be done.
If you ask me, these were smart moves away from the needless initial grandstanding, not only from the president by also his supporters. It showed TACT and not WEAKNESS. It showed COURAGE and not STUPIDITY.
Having said this, it is now time for the militants to embrace peace and reciprocate the gestures of the president. While I do NOT support destruction of oil facilities, I think they have made their point and sent their message across loud and clear! Those who were underrating their capacity to make the rest of Nigeria break some sweat should know better by now. But now is the time to send the real message: THAT THEY ARE NOT FIGHTING FOR FIGHTING SAKE!
They should shame those governors who asked that corruption charges be dropped against some individuals. It has never been the position of this writer. Mine has been EVERY case be treated according to the letters of the law and probe of campaign funds be spread across parties. To some low minds, that is defending looters. I plead guilty as charged.
Therefore, the Niger Delta Avengers should go into negotiations. Sit down with the authorities. Make their points clear and the demands unequivocal. Embrace the olive branch from the president. No matter how justifiable your position is in any fight, everyone is a loser. And when talking about justifiable position, I am NOT referring to pipeline vandals. Those are CRIMINALS! And should be treated as such!
Finally, I have a suggestion. Let the government approach former president, Goodluck Jonathan, and make him special envoy in the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis. Though they have been calling him names, unprintable ones for that matter, but he has shown his sterling statesmanship by not only refusing to respond but has always preached support for the government at all times. He is head and shoulder above them! I believe he will be more than glad to offer his services in this regard and show once again that he is a citizen of Nigeria like he claimed recently.
It is another humble pie this government can take a bite from. Will it?