Diri Seeks Peace with Rivers over Boundary Dispute


By Onungwe Obe

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called on the Rivers State Government to accept the initiative offered by Bayelsa State Government for the peaceful resolution of the dispute between Oluasiri Clan in Bayelsa State 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 a dispute arising from the location of oil wells within their common boundary.

Speaking in the Government House in Yenagoa during a meeting with stakeholders from the Oluasiri clan led by the Paramount Ruler, Chief Iyerite Chiefson Awululu, Diri equally sought the support of Ijaw leaders and elders to resolve the age-long feud between the two Ijaw communities.

In a statement issued by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor assured them that the state government would protect its territories and work with the communities to ensure that they are secure.

He said, “I’m calling on my brother governor of our sister state that this is the 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 Ijaw, and so no other person should beat the drums of war against two friendly Ijaw clans.”

Therefore, Diri directed his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, to chair a committee to drive the process of peaceful resolution of the boundary adjustment issues.

He also restated his administration resolve to ensure the protection of lives and property in all communities in the state.

The governor said his administration would engage security agencies on the need to curtail acts of lawlessness, particularly in the Oluasiri axis of the state.

Also responding to the Oluasiri request for the provision of social amenities, the governor directed the state Commissioners for Health and Water Resources to make the cottage hospital built by Shell Petroleum Development Company functional as well as provide potable water.

Earlier, the spokesman of the clan, Iniruo Wills, highlighted a number of issues that requires the government’s intervention.

Wills, a former Commissioner for Information, and later Environment, said the meeting was to seek assistance in the areas of security, resolution of the legal dispute between the two sister states concerning the boundary delineation among others.