From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has slammed the Director General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Idris Musa, on the legality of the state’s technical committee on the recent oil spill in Nembe Local Government Area of the state.
The technical committee set up by Diri to assess the level of the oil spill had run into hitches when their membership of the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) was questioned because of the involvement of the media.
Diri who expressed dissatisfaction with the comments of Musa when the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, visited him at the Government House, Yenagoa, described NOSDRA’s action as unacceptable.
The governor explained that his decision to set up the technical committee on the spill was influenced by the country’s constitution and the laws of Bayelsa State.
According to him he owed the people of Nembe the responsibility of protecting every victim affected by the spill and would leave no stone unturned in ensuring justice and full compensation for the people.
While calling on the JIV team set up by NOSDRA to be transparent and free from any form of compromise, Senator Diri, said it was unethical for Aiteo to provide logistics for the JIV.
His words: ‘Honourable Minister, I was not happy with the report I got from my team, particularly comments allegedly made by the DG of NOSDRA. I’m an elected governor of Bayelsa State and the number one thing about me is the wellbeing of the people, the environment and the property of my state.
‘I was told that the DG allegedly made comments that the committee I set up and inaugurated was an illegal committee. Also, he reportedly said that the media cannot be part of the JIV.
‘Those were the reports I received from my team. I’m happy that you have cleared the issues about the media and they would be part of it.
‘Like I said earlier, states and the federal government are supposed to work hand in gloves. I have the powers vested by the Nigerian Constitution and the laws of Bayelsa State to set up the committee within the confines of Bayelsa State and on anything that is injurious to the people of the state.
‘With the way it is going, I’m not happy with the report I’m getting from my committee. Aiteo could not have been the one to provide the logistics for the JIV. And the DG of NOSDRA should be the number one person to protect the state, its team and the environment.’
Mrs Ikeazor had during her comments overruled Musa by approving the Media to be part of the JIV to ensure transparency.