The new Federal Government administration has not yet articulated its vision for the Niger Delta. As a result, the leaders in the region are concerned that the pledges for national development may not be inclusive. If these concerns are not addressed through a comprehensive and holistic approach, in the next 6 – 12 months the Niger Delta may be engulfed in a fresh wave of violence.
There is no military solution to the Niger Delta conflict. The incoming administration has a window of opportunity to address the problems of the region in a comprehensive manner through meaningful engagement with the region before the tensions escalate.
The Niger Delta Youth Dialogue process therefore set out with the goal to ensure that the citizens of the Niger Delta, supported by the International Community, participate in shaping a holistic and sustainable strategy for the region, in order to address the drivers of conflict and lay foundations for long-term stability of the region and West Africa.
Following State-level Forums in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta States, the Pan-Niger Delta Youth Summit brought over 100 individuals from across different ethnic, regional and potential militant groups in the Niger Delta together to discuss their concerns and the region’s future. The Summit was held over two days (28th-29th July 2015) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Key issues raised from State Forums formed the foundation for inclusive discussion that focused on solutions to the major challenges confronting the region, and ultimately towards sustaining peace and inclusive development.