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Diri Urges Understanding Over Bayelsa, Rivers Boundary Dispute

Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has sought the cooperation of the Rivers State government to resolve the dispute between Oluasiri clan in Bayelsa State and their Kalabari neighbours in Rivers State.

The Oluasiri communities in Nembe Local Government Area of the state and their Kalabari Ijaw kinsmen are locked in a dispute that arose from the location of oil wells within their boundary.

Diri spoke yesterday in Yenagoa, the state capital, at a meeting with leaders of Oluasiri clan, led by their paramount ruler, Chief Iyerite Awululu, according to a statement by the governor’s Acting Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah.

The governor also sought the support of Ijaw leaders and elders to resolve the age-long feud between the two Ijaw communities.

He promised that the state government would protect its territories and work with the communities to ensure tight security.

Diri said: “I’m calling on my brother governor of our sister-state that this is a time 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 Nembe and the Kalabari. They are all Ijaw, and so no other person should beat the drums of war against two friendly Ijaw clans.”

The governor directed his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, to chair a peace committee to resolve the boundary adjustment dispute.

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

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

Diri assured the Oluasiri that his administration would work with the Navy for an interim security arrangement pending when a substantive police station would be established in the area.

Responding to a request by the Oluasiri, the governor directed the Commissioners for Health and Water Resources to make the cottage hospital built by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) functional and provide potable water to the area.

The clan’s spokesman Iniruo Wills highlighted a number of issues that required government’s intervention.

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

 

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