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Diri alleges diversion of Bayelsa allocation to Rivers

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Chairman, Edo PDP Campaign Council, Chief Dan Orbih (left); Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo; Bayelsa First Lady, Mrs. Gloria Diri; her husband, Douye; Governor Godwin Obaseki; his wife, Betsy; Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and his wife, Maryann during the cutting of the victory cake at Government House, Yenagoa…yesterday.

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has flayed the deduction of the state’s revenue by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in favour of Rivers State following a high court ruling.

Governor Diri said the hurried implementation of the ruling was unacceptable and sub judice, as the state’s appeal was pending at the Supreme Court.

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He also said it amounted to ceding Bayelsa territory indirectly to Rivers to pit the two states against each other.

The Bayelsa governor said this when RMAFC commissioners representing the South-South region visited him in the Government House, Yenagoa.

Diri, in a statement by his spokesperson, Daniel Alabrah, called on the commission to reconsider its decision until the apex court gives a final verdict on the boundary dispute between both states.

He noted that the action significantly affected the state’s allocation for September.

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“I will still appeal to the chairman and members of the commission to revisit this deduction from the monthly allocation of Bayelsa. I have, in this regard, writing letters to the President, the Vice President, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the Accountant General. I will follow it up by visiting their offices.

“We want to explore a peaceful method. But what the commission has done can degenerate the peace between these sister states. I don’t think that my people from Oluasiri in Nembe and all of us from Bayelsa will accept ceding any part of our territory to anybody,” he said.

While commending the federal commissioners from the South-South for their peace moves, the governor said they could do more in spearheading the upward review of the 13 per cent derivation to the oil-producing states. 

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Diri also called on other governors of the South-South to exercise restraint in dealing with issues of boundary adjustment in the region, noting that “there is a deliberate policy of divide-and-rule to further exploit the resources of the Niger Delta. 

Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation and representative of Akwa Ibom State in the commission, Mr. Sunday Anyang, said as ambassadors of the region, they had a common goal of protecting the interest of the people they represent from external influence.

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