Pipeline Surveillance Contract: Diri, INC Unites Asari Dokubo, Tompolo, Ateke And Others.

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YENAGOA – Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri and the leadership of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) have jointly resolved the raging disagreement involving Ijaw sons over the oil pipeline surveillance contract which the Federal Government awarded to Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

A peace meeting to settle the feuding parties was convened at the instance of Diri, who presided over the parley alongside the President of the INC, Professor Benjamin Okaba, in Yenagoa at the weekend

The meeting also constituted a five-member monitoring committee to follow-up on the successes of the parley in the interest of peace, unity and stability of the Ijaw nation and indeed the Niger Delta.

A 10-point communique read to journalists by the INC president at the end of the meeting said that Asari Dokubo, Tompolo, Ateke Tom and others had agreed to co-operate and work in harmony and brotherliness.

The meeting noted that the oil pipeline protection job was a crumb over which the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta should not be thrown into internal crisis and violence.

The communique titled, ‘We are stronger together’, said, “We are irrevocably committed to the peace, unity, solidarity and stability of Ijaw nation and indeed other ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta.

“We are determined more than ever before not to allow the pittance in the guise of oil pipeline surveillance contract create an arena of infighting and bloodshed in Ijaw land before, during and after the execution of the oil pipeline protection job.

“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.”

It further stated that despite the oil pipeline surveillance token, the Ijaw people remained resolute in their demand for resource control, self-determination and environmental justice and equity.

“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 personal aggrandizement while our people and communities wallow in abject poverty and underdevelopment,” it added.

The meeting also condemned the wanton degradation of the environment in Ijaw land and the Niger Delta by oil spills and gas leaks from the facilities of multinational oil firms, pipeline vandalism, oil theft and illegal crude oil refining activities with dire consequences on the people and their livelihoods.

In his remarks, Governor Diri said that issues arising from the oil pipeline job were threatening the peace of Ijaw nation to the extent that compatriots of the ethnic nationality were rising against each.

He said, “The issues have been put behind us. We have agreed that there will not be infighting in Ijaw nation and other ethnic groups in the Niger Delta, and all hands will be on the deck.

“The Ijaw nation will never rise up in arms against one another. Tompolo, Asari and others have agreed to protect Ijaw territory and the pipelines because peace is the only panacea for development.”

The governor restated the importance of the five-man monitoring committee while commending the INC leadership and other Ijaw elders for playing their fatherly roles to ensure that the quarrels were resolved amicably and tensions were doused in the region.

Among those in attendance apart from the Bayelsa governor were the state Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs, Patrick Erasmus, former INC President, Joshua Fumudoh, former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, Senator Emmanuel Diffa, Emeritus Professor Alabo Dagogo Fubara, Chairman of INC Reconciliation Committee, Kennedy Odiowei and representatives of Asari Dokubo, Government Ekpemupolo, King Ateke Tom, Farah Dagogo and ‘General’ Horsfall Olali.

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