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Three per cent for Niger Delta in PIA paltry, says Diri

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[FILES] Diri. Photo/FACEBOOK/govdouyedirinewmedia

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has described the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as oppressive to the Niger Delta people.

He maintained that the three per cent approved for host communities in PIA was paltry and that the Niger Delta people would continue to oppose it until justice was served.

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Diri stated this at the weekend during a special thanksgiving service for his Special Adviser on Special Duties and Director of Transport, Government House, Lucky Yobougha, in Yenagoa.

He said the passage of the bill, in spite of initial outcry against it, amounted to injustice on the Ijaw and Niger Delta people, especially on the backdrop of the 30 per cent allocated for oil exploration in frontier basins in the North.

Diri, who stressed that the law was ill-conceived, dehumanising, and unacceptable to the Niger Delta people, asked for its repeal and amendment.

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He supported the aggrieved senators, who staged a walkout during its passage, stating that the action had its place in history.

His words: “Now it is incumbent on us, as citizens of this state and particularly of host communities, to rise up against this ill-conceived, oppressive, dehumanising and unacceptable law.

“A lot of ignorant people were against the former governor of Bayelsa State, who championed a walkout in the Senate. But that is what a true son of Ijawland should do in the face of obvious oppression.

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“You cannot be part of a decision that dehumanises and takes away the resources of your people. That is one of the weapons we use as a minority against the so-called majority in the National Assembly.”

Diri also canvassed unity among the Ijaw, who he said, have been deliberately balkanised into five states in the country apart from Bayelsa, which is the only homogeneous Ijaw state, maintaining that it was a ploy to distress the Ijaw people.

He pledged to support the actualisation of the creation of the Oil River and Toru-Ibe states for the Ijaw.

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In his sermon, Archbishop Ugon-Owaji Ile of El-Shaddai Ministries International, stressed that God was searching for a man, who would build the economy and enrich the people of Bayelsa like Nehemiah of the biblical times.

He described Bayelsa as one of the richest states in Nigeria, but yet to fully harness its natural resources due to lack of foresight and prayed God to lead Governor Diri aright to achieve his Prosperity Agenda for the people of the state.

Responding, Yobougha said the thanksgiving service was necessitated by God’s revelation to him on Diri’s victory and fulfillment of his pledge to God.

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