Bayelsa assures Azama, Isoni communities of neutrality, fairness in peace deal
The Bayelsa State Government has assured of fairness and neutrality in resolving the lingering crisis between the Azama and Isoni communities.
Following government’s resolve, Isoni/Azama Peace Committee, headed by the Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, indicated its preparedness to visit the disputed areas in the communities.
Ewhrudjakpo stated this at the weekend during a meeting between the committee and representatives of Isoni Community at Government House, Yenagoa. He assured the warring communities of its commitment to neutrality and fairness in resolving the dispute, stressing the need for both parties to maintain peace and harmony.
He emphasised the state government’s desire to ensure peace in all communities across the state to attract investments, sustainable development and prosperity.
In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor urged the Azama and Isoni people to have confidence in the steps being taken to settle the dispute.
While appealing for restraint from both parties, he charged them to refrain from making public statements that could preempt the committee’s decisions and jeopardise its efforts at achieving lasting peace in the area.
He commended the Isoni people for their peaceful disposition so far and enjoined them to continue in that regard, adding that the committee had concluded plans to visit the disputed area to enable it to make informed decisions.
The Deputy Governor also acknowledged court judgments over the disputed land and appealed to both parties, particularly the Isoni Community, to suspend all pending litigations to enable the committee to effectively carry out its mediatory assignment.
“Be rest assured that we must visit the areas and we will go there three times. We will go with you first, because we heard from them first. We will go with them the second time and then members of the committee, Azama and Isoni will go there for the third time.
“We will be as neutral as water and as gentle as the dove, but we will not be as timid as the cockroach.”
So, let us continue to wave the olive branch. No sacrifice is too much to achieve peace.
“We commend your efforts for not taking the laws into your hands. We want you to continue to maintain the peace even in the face of very grievous unwarranted and undeserved provocation. Government regards your peaceful disposition,” he stated.
Speaking, the Ebenanaowei of Ohiakiri Kingdom and Leader of the Isoni delegation, King Joshua Igbagara, said the Kalatoru Creek and the Seibou land belong the Isoni Community in Sagbama Council, adding that all the court judgments dating back to 1929 were in favour of Isoni and called for execution of the Supreme Court ruling.
Chairman of Sagbama Council, Embeleakpo Alale, his Southern Ijaw counterpart, Nigeria Kia, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Biriyai Dambo (SAN), among others, attended the meeting.
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