Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has called on political and traditional rulers not to politicize the issues concerning what he referred to as boundary misunderstanding between Bayelsa and Rivers States.
The Governor made the call when officials of the National Boundary Commission and Boundary Committees of the two States visited him at Government House in Yenagoa.
Governor Dickson who expressed delight over the visit assured that Bayelsa State would abide by the outcome of the National Boundary Commission’s delineation exercise guided by the Supreme Court judgement.
Describing the people of Bayelsa and Rivers states as inseparable with a common history, the Governor said the misunderstanding arising from the boundary conflict predated the creation of Bayelsa State.
He expressed the hope that with support and cooperation both states the commission should be able to resolve the matter amicably once and for all, urging the federal agency to use natural landmarks rather than artificial marks.
“It is not really a dispute but a long standing boundary misunderstanding between two clans of the Ijaw Nation and we are ever conscious of that. And so we will support the national institutions. Our duty as a government is not to denigrate national institutions but to support them”
“We also call on the political, traditional and religious leaders not to inflame passion or make statements to politicize the misunderstanding. We are very confident, however in our position and we expect that the right thing will be done.” Governor Dickson remarked.
Governor Dickson who debunked the allegation that his administration intends to annex the resources of Rivers State, said government was satisfied with the natural endowments of Bayelsa.
“The truth is that, these resources whether they are in Kalabari area in Rivers State or Oluasiri in the Nembe area of Bayelsa State, they are actually resources of our people, so our interest is not to create instability; our interest is to work with the federal agency and others that have a role to play in getting to the root of this matter and in ensuring a final resolution to whatever misunderstanding that has been lingering.” The Bayelsa State Governor stated.
Earlier in his presentation, the Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Dr. Bose Ahmad had appealed to both Bayelsa and Rivers states to allow the commission take the necessary actions based on the subsisting Supreme Court Judgement to resolve the boundary dispute between the two sister States.
Dr. Ahmad made the plea during a courtesy call on Governor Seriake Dickson in Government House shortly after a joint meeting of officials of Bayelsa and Rivers interstate boundary committees in Yenagoa.
The Director General, who acknowledged that the dispute has lingered for long in spite of efforts made to resolve it, urged the affected communities to maintain peaceful co-existence while the Federal and State governments take the necessary steps to resolve the contending issues.
“Let me use this opportunity to urge the relevant border communities to continue to maintain peaceful co-existence and understanding while all efforts are made by the governments both at the Federal and State levels to expedite action towards the permanent resolution of the boundary disputes and to physically demarcate the boundary on the ground for ease of recognition,” he said.
Dr. Ahmad appealed to Governor Dickson to provide the Bayelsa State Technical Team with the necessary funds and logistic support to enable them actively participate in the delineation and demarcation exercise.
In attendance were the Deputy Governors of Bayelsa and rivers States, Rtd Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah and Engineer Tele Ikuru, representative of the Surveyor-Genral of the Federation, J.F. Oyeyemi as well as members of Executive council of both States.