Former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, has appealed to Niger Delta youths to eschew violence and embrace peace over his court case.
He said he is confident that justice would take its full course.
He made the plea on Sunday against the background of recent statements credited to some militant groups in the South South which threatened to escalate violence and cripple oil facilities as a means of pressing for his bail.
Ibori is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court in Kaduna, adjudicated by Justice Mohammed Lawal Shuaibu.
Some youths in Delta State have reportedly demonstrated against his trial, blocking major roads leading to neighbouring states.
However, a statement issued by Ibori’s Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, quoted his boss as reiterating that “I am a man of peace. I know very well the role peace plays in societal development and so I fully understand that no society advances in the absence of peace.
“Moreover, I have always stated that my implicit faith in the rule of law and in the independence of the judiciary has remained unshaken. So, I urge my supporters to remain calm and peaceful as I have total confidence that I will overcome the present adversity that is facing me”.
Ibori recounted how he invested time and resources to ensure that peace reigned in the state and elsewhere in the Niger Delta when he was Governor for eight years.
He recalled that on the day of his inauguration as Governor in 1999, Warri was embroiled in inter-ethnic strife, but his administration’s efforts bore fruit, and peace returned to that city, as well as other parts of Delta State.
“I pray that this legacy of peace should continue,” he added.