From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has succeeded in resolving the rift among Alhaji Mujadid Asari- Dokubo, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, King Ateke Tom and Farah Dagogo following the recent oil pipeline surveillance contract awarded by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited.
Diri presided over a peace meeting which had in attendance representatives of the warring parties and leaders of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) over the weekend at Government House Yenagoa.
Investigations revealed that the peace meeting which is sequel to the peace efforts of INC President, Prof Benjamin Okaba examined all issues that triggered the outburst of Asari Dokubo.
The Chief Press Secretary to Diri, Mr Daniel Alabrah in a statement quoted Diri to have expressed happiness over the resolution of the rift and called for collective effort to protect the pipeline.
His words: “I am happy that the issue has been put behind us. Beyond building consensus, all hands must be on deck to protect the oil pipelines.
“Today, we have seen the end of the matter. Before now, there was a deafening silence in the INC. But today, that voice is resonating and I thank all Ijaw leaders that took it upon themselves to ensure that the Ijaws do not fight themselves.
“Tompolo and Asari are brothers. We have all come to a consensus to protect all federal presence, especially oil pipelines in the Niger Delta, as we sue for peace to attract development.”
In a communiqué entitled “We are stronger together” issued after the meeting and read by Prof. Okaba, a five-man reconciliatory committee was constituted to interface with the various groups and individuals on the pipeline surveillance issue.
The communiqué noted that Ijaw people were irrevocably committed to the peace, unity and stability of the ethic group and other nationalities in the Niger Delta.
It also stressed the people’s determination not to allow the pittance in the guise of oil pipeline surveillance to create an arena of in-fighting and bloodshed in Ijaw land before, during and after the execution of the job.
It read in part “That we are resolved to refrain from internal squabbles and seek ways of strengthening and deepening our unity and fostering peace in Ijaw land while resisting attempts, be it internal or external, to subjugate and further divide us.
“That despite the token of the oil pipeline surveillance contract, we remain resolute in our demand for resource ownership and management, self-determination and environmental justice, equity, and fairness.
“That we will sustain the struggle to ensure that Ijaw land and indeed the Niger Delta will no longer be the petroleum colony of federal oligarchs and their cohorts whose only interest is to plunder our oil and gas resources for their aggrandizement while our people and communities wallow in abject poverty and underdevelopment.
“That the resolutions of the All Ijaw Summit of December 4, 2021, remain our compass for the continuous interrogation of the Ijaw Question in the Nigerian State, and the roadmap for our inalienable quest for resource control, self-actualization, and environmental justice anchored on the instrumentality of the rule of law and other international instruments.
“That we maintain our position on the restructuring of Nigeria to free it from the shackles of a faulty and fraudulently contrived foundation that perpetuates injustice, disunity, and hegemonic tendencies and propensities.”