Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd), has urged aggrieved persons in the Niger Delta region to adopt dialogue and negotiations as tools to resolve disputes in the region.
He insisted that the use of intellectual property, networking and negotiations remained the most potent means of drawing attention to issues of deprivation, marginalisation and environmental degradation.
Dikio spoke at an event to mark the 50th birthday anniversary of the former Board Chairman of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Maj. Lancelot Anyanya (rtd).
The PAP boss said Niger Delta leaders should strive to be part of the boardroom negotiations instead of resorting to street agitations that would always lead to negative consequences.
While eulogising Anyanya for contributing to the peace and development of the Niger Delta, Dikio said his tenure as the PAP boss had been largely successful because of the vital role of the security expert.
He said, “When I was given this appointment, I prayed that I wanted to have destiny helpers and one of the destiny helpers God sent my way was Lancelot Ayanya. Our relationship started in 1990, but over the years, we have kept fate and kept in touch.
“I remember that when I chose to retire from the Army, he was one of the people I told. And so, without giving away straight secrets, if you want things done, look for Lance.
“What connects us is our passion to make Niger Delta the safest place to live and do business in Nigeria. And taking a cue from the play ‘Tekena’ (a story of the Niger Delta), we intend to do this by dialogue, building bridges, negotiations and Networking.”
Going down memory lane about their relationship, Dikio said Anyanya passed through all the rudiments of the Nigerian Army and was adequately prepared for the challenges of life, which he noted made him to succeed.
He said, “His career is an epitome of a man who took the biblical injunction ‘to fight the good fight of faith’, seriously to heart. He exudes a positive ‘can do’ influence that is infectious. There are no excuses for failure if you are around Lancelot. He will find a way and he will proffer solutions. If he doesn’t have it immediately, he will find it. That’s the kind of man he is.
“One of the strong points of Lancelot is that he understands what is called vertical and horizontal relationships. That is very important. He is a man who has big aspirations, not just for himself, but for his generation. He is a friend of influencers.”
Some of the dignitaries at the event, who also paid tributes to Anyanya, were Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri; his predecessor, Henry Seriake Dickson and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Others were a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Prince Chibudom Nwuche; and a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, among others.