Bayelsa Governor, Douye Diri, has appealed to the Federal Government to implement Monday’s Abuja Federal High Court judgment ordering the payment $951 million as shortfall in oil derivation revenue due to the state.
Governor Diri made the appeal in his first public reaction to the judgment, yesterday, at the Government House, Yenagoa.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, the governor said the money was due to the state based on the constitution and the 13 percent derivation principle.
Governor Diri, who said his administration was open to dialogue with the Federal Government to amicably resolve the matter, said constant litigations would not engender cordial relationship between states and the centre.
He said: “Let me use this opportunity to appeal to the Federal Government to implement the consent judgment that has been delivered.
We are prepared for dialogue to ensure we have a smooth relationship with the Federal Government. We believe governments are one and the same and we have the task of protecting and bringing peace to our country. Litigations would not bind us together as a people.
“What is right is right. Clearly, these are monies and finances that are due to Bayelsa State by the constitution and the 13 percent derivation principle.”
In another development, Diri urged people of the state to set aside their differences and live in peace to engender development.
He gave the admonition when he received a report of the committee set up by the state government on the Peremabiri community crisis.
Diri, who acknowledged that disagreements were a part of co-existence, said such should be peacefully settled in the spirit of brotherhood.
While stating that meaningful development would not take place in the absence of peace, he called for an end to conflicts that lead to destruction of lives and property in the state.
He decried constant conflicts experienced in some communities in the state, saying through his administration’s intervention, most of the brewing crises were averted.
He described Peremabiri as a richly endowed community in both human and natural resources, but regretted that such gifts had been negatively utilised as it had been embroiled in crises for about four decades.
The governor, who expressed optimism that his administration would bring a lasting peace to the community, called on all to support its initiative to end the conflicts in the area.
Earlier, Cleopas said findings of the committee revealed the absence of a generally accepted constitution, frequent change of leadership, divide and rule tactics by Shell Petroleum Development Company were some of the causes of conflict in the community.
To forestall future conflicts, the committee recommended the enactment of a new constitution, signing of a peace accord by major actors, signing of a new Global Memorandum of Understanding by SPDC, among others.
The peace and security committee on Peremabiri was set up in January 2021 following attacks on the community by gunmen.