Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday urged Niger Delta youths to shun violence and embrace peace, so as to promote the development of the region and the country at large.
Jonathan gave the advice when the executives of Movement for Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND) visited him in Yenagoa.
The former president cautioned them against restiveness in the Niger Delta region which, he said, had been supporting the national economy through production of oil and gas.
He stressed that youths remained the focus of most government development policies, saying that any attempt to cause violence would work against their interests.
“The future belongs to the youths who are at the centre of most developmental endeavours and policies of government; so, the diversion of youthful energy towards violence is not desirable at all.
“The future of this country belongs to the young ones, not to those of us who have given our youthful years and are at the verge of exiting the scene. The youths should resist every attempt to take to violence.
“Peace in the Niger Delta is very essential, as any disturbance in the Niger Delta affects the country because the region supports the economy of the nation,’’ Jonathan said.
Earlier, the President of MOSIEND, Mr Kenedy Tonjo-West, said the purpose of the visit was to seek the advice of the statesman on the plethora of challenges confronting the Ijaw nation, Niger Delta and Nigeria.
Tonjo-West called for the implementation of the recommendations of the “2014 National Conference.’’
He appealed to Jonathan to mobilise former Heads of State to persuade the Federal Government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and pump price of petrol
On security, he said: “MOSIEND is uncomfortable with the level of insecurity along our waterways and communities.
“Your Excellency, we most respectfully appeal that you wade into the Oluasiri/Soku boundary issue, with a view to finding lasting solution to the intermittent squabbles between Rivers and Bayelsa.
“You should prevail on the two state governors in the region that are supposed to close ranks to address this dispute and its associated problems which are limiting our progress in the Niger Delta region,’’ Tonjo-West added.