Two Ijaws Communities, Oluasiri Clan in Bayelsa and their Kalabari neighbours in Rivers are feuding over the correct boundary between them because of the location of oil wells within the boundary area.
This has prompted theBayelsa state governor, himself an Ijaw man to appeal for understanding andpeace between the two warring communities.
Diri made the plea inYenagoa during a meeting with stakeholders from the Oluasiri clan led by theparamount ruler, Chief Iyerite Awululu. He sought the support of Ijaw leadersand 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 the 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 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 andKalabaris. They are all Ijaws and so no other person should beat the drums ofwar 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 hisadministration’s resolve to ensure the protection of lives and property acrosscommunities in the state. The governor said his administration would engage securityagencies on the need to curtail acts of lawlessness, particularly in theOluasiri axis of the state.
“I will sit with mysecurity commanders and see if we can beef up security in Oluasiri to protectlives and property. “We have already set the ball rolling and we will take somesecurity measures in that area in the interim pending when a substantive policestation 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, the spokesman of the clan, Mr. Iniruo Wills, highlighted a number of issues that require the 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. (NAN)