Rivers State Governor, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, has said equal opportunities for all Nigerians to go about their legitimate businesses and to provide income for themselves will go a long way in addressing conflicts and terrorism in the country.
He also said lack of opportunities for the Nigerian youths was partly responsible for the increasing rate of conflicts in the country.
Amaechi spoke at the weekend when the United States Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau for Conflict Stabilisation and Operations, Washington D.C., Rick Barton, and the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwinstle, led a delegation of diplomats on a visit to Port Harcourt.
He called on the federal government to add more value to its security operation and conflict reduction strategy in order to achieve the needed peace in the country.
According to him, “The Nigerian government needs to do more to reduce conflict. For me, the way to reduce conflict is not just equity but the ability to provide opportunity for those who don’t have, because lack of opportunities increases conflicts. But, if everybody is given nearly equal opportunities to go about their businesses and provide income for themselves, then the Nigerian environment would likely see peace. If we don’t provide such opportunities for them, there would be conflicts because poverty is everywhere. That is what is happening in Nigeria.”
Amaechi also called on the ruling class and the elite to, as a matter of necessity, make useful contributions that would assist the federal government tackle terrorism in the North-eastern part of the country and ensure peaceful co-existence prevails in the land.
Earlier, Barton said he was concerned about the future transition in Nigeria.
He said there was need to take steps to ensure it would be peaceful.
Also, speaking, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Entwinstle, said there was need for the Nigerian government to promote reconciliation as a workable measure to reduce the tension and violence in the country.