From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There is uneasy calm over claims by stakeholders that the Bayelsa State Government is moving to scuttle the Bayelsa fertilizer and petrochemical project because of its location.
The project for which the Foreign Direct Investment has already been received is sited at Odioma in Brass Local Government Area.
According to reports, the Bayelsa State Government, led by Governor Douye Diri, is allegedly making discreet moves to scuttle take-off of the project because it is not located in the core Ijaw area.
Those accusing the Diri administration said the government intends to raise so much dust using security concerns to scare away investors.
However, the government has flayed such claims, warning against disharmony being used to blackmail the state government.
Diri, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, said those behind the reports do not mean well for the state.
The governor while noting that only enemies of the state could concoct such falsehood and spread fake news on social media to create ethnic disaffection, maintained that his administration was committed to the unity and progress of the state and the Ijaw nation rather than engaging in pettiness and promoting a divisive agenda.
“As governor of the only homogenous Ijaw State, I owe our people the responsibility of promoting and preserving our unity. Having being in the front lines of advocacy for a better Ijaw nation in the past, I cannot now negate those cherished principles and ideals. It is therefore out of sync to ascribe to my person such primordial and base sentiments,” he said.
Governor Diri called on stakeholders, including the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, whose ministry supervises the project, to consider the overall interest of the state while working with others to ensure the project succeeds.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Biriyai Dambo, equally described the allegation against the governor as a blatant lie, stressing that from the inception,, the administration has wholly supported the project.
“This is a blatant lie. We should try and get our facts straight and right. I have been part of the entire meetings with the governor and top officials of Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical Limited. The Bayelsa State Government under Governor Diri is in full support of the project and meetings are still ongoing to fine-tune the Joint Venture Agreement to be executed by the parties. Core Ijaw has had nothing to do with this.”
The Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Esau Andrew, who hails from the host community, Odioama also dismissed the allegations stating the governor had shown absolute commitment on the fertiliser project int all meetings.
He however added that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was being influenced to sabotage the project.