Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has called on the Rivers State government to show understanding in order to amicably resolve the dispute between Oluasiri Clan in Bayelsa and their Kalabari neighbors in Rivers.
The Oluasiri communities in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa and their Kalabari Ijaw kinsmen are locked in dispute arising from the location of oil wells within the boundary area.
Diri made the plea in Yenagoa during a meeting with stakeholders from the Oluasiri clan led by the paramount ruler, Chief Iyerite Awululu.
He sought the support of Ijaw leaders and elders to resolve the age-long feud between the two Ijaw communities.
In a statement by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the governor said the state government will protect its territories and work with the communities to ensure safety of residents.
“I’m 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,” he said.
To this end, Diri directed his deputy, Mr 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 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.
“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.
Also, the governor directed the state Ministry of Health and Water Resources to make the cottage hospital built by Shell Petroleum Development Company functional as well as provide potable water.
Earlier, spokesman of the clan, Mr Iniruo Wills, highlighted a number of issues that require government’s intervention.
Wills said the meeting was to seek assistance in the areas of security and resolution of the legal dispute between the two states concerning the boundary delineation among others.