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Diri condemns attack on Diette-Spiff, cautions against secret GMoUs

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Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has condemned the attack on the first Military Governor of the old Rivers State and Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, King Alfred Diette-Spiff, by youths of the kingdom.

Governor Diri expressed displeasure yesterday during a meeting with leaders of Twon-Brass in the Brass Council of the state to resolve misunderstandings in the area.

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In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Daniel Alabrah, the governor acknowledged people’s right to peaceful protests but frowned on the recourse to attacks on the monarch.

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri (middle), Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass Kingdom, King Alfred Diete-Spiff (fifth right), Chairman, Brass Council, Victor Isaiah (right), Inatimi Rufus-Spiff (second right), Lady Marie Ebikake (third right) and other stakeholders after a meeting at Government House, Yenagoa…yesterday.<br />


He warned the youths to shun violence, adding that government would not condone further attacks on the monarch, who is also Chairman of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, under any pretext.

Diri also urged Bayelsa people to explore other means of resolving grievances instead of the penchant to embark on protest at the slightest disagreement, saying: “Let this be a warning to those who perpetrated that act. We are happy with the relative peace in Bayelsa and would like to maintain and sustain it.

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“There are other avenues to explore such as the council chairman. If all avenues fail, the protest should then be the last resort. Let us not protest always. I, however, applaud your peaceful disposition with the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) over the years.”

Describing Twon-Brass, host community to Agip and Shell, as important and strategic to the state and the country, Diri stated that all avenues would be explored to resolve the contentious issues and prevent the breakdown of law and order.

While condemning compromise by some community leaders, who shortchange their people for their selfish interests, he said the government was aware of the companies’ divide and rule tactics in the host communities.

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He said as one of the safest states in the country, Bayelsa residents should work with the government to maintain peace, adding that as the only homogeneous Ijaw state, the people should live in unity.

BESIDES, Diri disclosed that to forestall conflicts in communities over Global Memoranda of Understanding (GMoUs), the government had declared that it would be part of the signing of GMoUs with companies.

“Part of what we have done when we assumed office was to enforce a new system of signing GMoUs between communities and companies, including oil companies operating in the state.

“To this end, I have directed that all GMoUs being signed would be witnessed by the state government through the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s office. No GMoU should be kept in secrecy because we have seen that as a point of conflict between communities and companies operating in the state.

Responding, King Diette-Spiff said that the power supply, which led to the protest, was restored last Thursday, adding that the protesters had also dismantled the blockade in the area.

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