Bayelsa govt appeals for calm over Petroleum Industry Act
The Bayelsa State Government has cautioned residents of the state, particularly youths, to remain calm despite the ‘shortcomings’ of the Petroleum Industry Bill recently signed into law.
The government also urged the Ijaw Youths Council, an umbrella body of youth organisations in Ijawland, to operate within the confines of its Constitution and not delve into issues around the election of traditional rulers.
The state Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made this appeal at an enlarged meeting with traditional rulers from Ogbia Local Government Area of the state in Yenagoa on Friday.
Mr Ewhrudjakpo said although what the people from oil communities expected from the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) was not what they got, there was still a need for them to promote peace and stability in Bayelsa.
He said the Niger Delta would continue to engage the Federal Government through dialogue and other lawful means to enable host communities to get their fair share from oil resources.
On security, Mr Ewhrudjakpo condemned what he described as “pockets of insecurity emanating from unnecessary attempts to overthrow duly constituted community leadership”, thereby causing tension and strife in some communities.
He warned that government would not allow any recognised traditional ruler to be arbitrarily dethroned by any individual or group of persons and impose themselves on the people.
The deputy governor said the government would always ensure a peaceful process of electing leaders into vacant traditional stools and other elective positions in the various communities.
He enjoined the leadership of IYC to only pursue worthy struggles to foster peace, unity and progress in line with the yearnings and aspirations of founders of the organisation.
While thanking the Ogbia traditional rulers for their support, Mr Ewhrudjakpo reminded them of the need to register all visitors and non-indigenes in their communities for security reasons.
In their separate remarks, the Obanobhan of Ogbia Kingdom, Charles Owaba, and the various clan heads, commended the present administration “for carrying traditional rulers along in the scheme of things.”
They, however, called on the Bayelsa government to address the issues of illegal oil bunkering, absence of police stations and access roads to some Ogbia communities particularly in Abhureni clan and the erosion menace at Anyama, among other challenges, facing the area.
The heads of various security agencies in the state who attended the meeting appealed to the traditional rulers and the residents of the area to always volunteer intelligence to the security agencies for prompt response.
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