Governor Rotimi Amaechi of River State has described poverty and unemployment as the two key factors responsible for insecurity in Nigerian.
Amaechi explained that the provision of equal opportunities to Nigerians to do legitimate business and earn income would address the crisis in the country.
The governor spoke when the United States Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau for Conflict Stabilization and Operations, Washington DC, Mr. Rick Barton, and the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwinstle, led a delegation of diplomats on a visit to Government House in Port Harcourt.
He also urged the Federal Government to add more value to its security operations and conflict reduction strategy in order to achieve the needed peace in the country.
“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.
“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 you are seeing in Nigeria,” Amaechi added.
The governor appealed to the ruling class and the elite to make useful contributions that would assist the Federal Government to tackle terrorism in the North-Eastern part of the country.
Earlier, Barton had said he was interested in a peaceful transition of government in future.
Also speaking, Entwinstle expressed the need for the Nigerian government to promote reconciliation as a workable measure towards reducing tension and violence in the country.
Also, the Consul-General of the Ghana High Commission in Nigeria on Monday, Alhaji Abdulai Abukari blamed insecurity in Nigeria and other West African countries on unregulated movement of stateless people.
The UNHCR recently reported that about 700,000 people in West Africa had no nationalities, while more than five million others were at risk of being stateless.
Abukari told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the increasing number of people without nationalities across the region was becoming worrisome.
He advised that something urgent should be done to give the affected persons nationalities.
“Statelessness is a situation whereby some persons do not have a state, country or nationality,” he said.