The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright has called on the Federal Government to consider other non military options to deal with the situation in the Niger Delta.
Arkwright said this on Thursday, June 2, 2016, while during a courtesy visit to the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo in Ogun state.
He also said “We need to protect the investment there, not just British companies, international companies but Nigerian companies as well.
“We are talking to Nigerian authorities about that, we need to have what we called a comprehensive approach to this, in other words we need to have dialogue and we need to engage the communities down there.”
The Niger Delta Avengers have launched attacks on various crude oil installations in the oil rich region.
The British envoy also called on the Nigerian Army to carry out their operation responsibly.
He also added that “We need to understand the grievances of the people down there, we need to ensure the environmental damage is cleaned up.
“We need to protect the investment there, not just British companies, international companies but Nigerian companies as well.”
“When there is criminal activity, (it) is right that the government should take proactive action against that criminal activity, we strongly support them but we don’t think military solution alone is the final solution to handle issues in Niger Delta.
“And to handle Boko Haram in the North, so we need comprehensive approach and that is what we have been talking to the Nigerian government about.
“I was very encouraged to hear Hon Minister Ike Chukwu say about the need for dialogue and we are certainly looking to see what we can do to help in dialogue and bring peaceful outcome to what you say is economic threat to this country,” he said.
Arkwright said the use of force might not yield the desired result. He also said the government should explore dialogue.
He also asked the government to understand the grievances of the Niger Delta communities.
Also, a new militant group known as the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF), has emerged.