Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva has sued for sustainable peace in the Niger Delta, saying the quest to have multinational oil companies relocate their operational headquarters to the region cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of rancour and violence.
Sylva gave the charge at the weekend in Abuja when the Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum NDNAF invested him as its patron and peace ambassador.
People of the Niger Delta had for some years been clamouring for multinationals to relocate their headquarters to the region in order to boost economic activities in the area and douse ethnic tensions.
At the event, Sylva said; “What I must say here is that the essence or core of your organization is nonviolence and that is actually the essence of what we want in Nigeria.
“We must bring peace to the Niger Delta. It is our duty to bring peace to the Niger Delta. Sometimes we are worried that investment opportunities are not coming to the Niger Delta, but we must realize that it is our activities that will determine whether these opportunities will come or not.
“Right now, we are saying that oil companies must move their headquarters to the Niger Delta. But it is our duty to ensure that the place is peaceful enough for the oil companies to move back there. Because if the place is insecure, you will actually believe that no oil company will agree to go there. That is why this organization is really very important in the Niger Delta. That is why we must begin to also encourage those of you who are committed to making peace and only trying to assuage those who are making trouble. So, I am really happy to be associated with this organization. I will like to recommend that other organizations also emulate what you are doing and actually propagate the message of peace; because what we need in the Niger Delta more than anything else right now is peace and I believe that if there is peace in the Niger Delta there will be prosperity.