The unrest in oil-rich Niger Delta of Nigeria can only be solved with dialogue by parties involved, former Nigerian army General Abdulsalami Abubakar has said.
"All we need to do is to sit down on a round table and discuss these problems," Abubakar said in an interview with reporters on his 74th birthday in northern city of Minna Wednesday.
"Even if you fight a war and win, you must sit down with the people you conquered. The insecurity we are going through now is uncalled for," he added.
A militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, has carried out several attacks on oil pipelines and installations in the Niger Delta region.
The group threatens to ground Nigeria's oil and gas production.
The group's operation had become more audacious in recent weeks as it continued to cripple Nigeria's oil production, demanding a sovereign nation of the Niger Delta people.
Abubakar decried a situation where the people are going through hardship because of the activities of militants.
He advised the avengers against vandalism, saying it would negatively affect the 13 percent derivation accruing to the region due to sharp decline in oil revenue.
Similarly, Udom Emmanuel, the governor of southeastern state of Akwa Ibom, has advised the government to dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers to allow for sustainable peace and development in the region.
Emmanuel said the country's economy had been brutalized by the recent violence being experienced in the Niger Delta region.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government would engage leaders of the region on the way out of the crisis, and has ordered the military to cease fire.