Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, yesterday called on the Rivers State Government to show understanding in order to amicably resolve the dispute between the Oluasiri Clan in Bayelsa and their Kalabari neighbours in Rivers State. The Oluasiri communities in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and their Kalabari Ijaw kinsmen are locked in dispute arising from the location of oil wells within the boundary area. Speaking at the Government House in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, during a meeting with stakeholders from the Oluasiri Clan, led by the paramount ruler, Chief Iyerite Chiefson Awululu, Governor Diri sought the support of Ijaw leaders and elders to resolve the age-long feud between the two Ijaw communities.
In a release by the Acting Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, the governor assured the people that the state government would protect its territories and work with the communities to ensure that they are secured. He said: “I am calling on my brother governor of our sister state that this is a time that we need to look at the realities. As a people from the old Rivers State, we need to sit together and resolve our internal disputes, which should be easy to do because both feuding communities are of the Ijaw extraction.
“We have no difference between the Nembes and Kalabaris. They are all Ijaws and so no other person should beat the drums of war against two friendly Ijaw clans.” To this end, the governor directed his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, to chair a committee to drive the process of peaceful resolution of the boundary adjustment issues. He also restated his administration’s resolve to ensure the protection of lives and property across communities in the stat adding that his administration will engage security agencies on the need to curtail acts of lawlessness, particularly in the Oluasiri axis of the state.
Governor Diri, however, assured the people of Oluasiri of plans to work with the Nigerian Navy to put in place an interim security arrangement pending when a substantive police station would be established in the area. “I will sit with my security commanders and see if we can beef up security in Oluasiri to protect lives and property. We have already set the ball rolling and we will take some security measures in that area in the interim pending when a substantive police station will be set up,” he said.