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Gov. Fubara of Rivers State and Gov. Diri of Bayelsa State

Bayelsa Governor Sues For Peace In Rivers As Fubara Visits Diri. By Chris Mark

Gov. Fubara of Rivers State on visit to Bayelsa State
Abeni Aso-Oke

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has urged his Rivers State counterpart, Siminalayi Fubara, to work for peace in order for his vision to develop the state to be actualised.

Governor Diri stated this on Wednesday when Governor Fubara and a high-powered delegation visited him at his country home in Sampou, Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area.

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It was Fubara’s first official visit to the state since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

Gov. Fubara of Rivers State and Gov. Diri of Bayelsa State

Senator Diri said the importance of peace cannot be over-emphasised as no development can take place where there is crisis.

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A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying Rivers and Bayelsa have a long-standing brotherly relationship and whatever affects one affects the other.

Diri said he had been concerned about the political crisis in Rivers and had worked behind the scene to ensure peace returned to the state.

He cautioned against giving ethnic coloration to the crisis, insisting that the Ikwerre of Rivers and the Ijaw of both Rivers and Bayelsa were one and cannot afford to fight each other as it would amount to a senseless battle between brothers.

The Bayelsa helmsman equally urged his Rivers counterpart to be tolerant and patient while focusing on delivering development to people of his state.

While expressing willingness to forge closer ties with the Rivers governor in the interest of both states, Diri welcomed Fubara’s olive branch to find an amicable solution to the legal tussles between both states.

Diri said: “Rivers and Bayelsa are one and the same. That is why during the political crisis, we worked behind the scene to ensure peace reigned in your state. What affects Rivers affects Bayelsa.

“My thinking is that there has to be peace in Rivers State. God should grant you the wisdom to govern. At this time you must be patient and tolerant. You should also communicate with God and He will guide you.

“Some people wanted to give the crisis ethnic colouration but I said no. We should all look for peace and not escalate it so that the governor will also focus on delivering development to his people. I again call for peace and understanding so that both states will experience development.

“We have some cases in court and I am sure you have been briefed. That is why you said we should talk about our issues. I am very prepared to discuss with your government to resolve them.

“Our politics must be people-oriented. If we serve our people well, we serve God. We also need to meet more closely and explore areas of mutual benefits to both states.”

Earlier, Governor Siminalayi Fubara said his visit was to foster unity and seek areas of collaboration between both states.

He stated that the two states had a lot in common and cannot afford to work at cross purposes.

Fubara noted that the recent crisis in Rivers was unfortunate and said the issues were being resolved as his administration was focused on developing the state.

While thanking the people of Bayelsa for their solidarity, Fubara said he will forge a closer relationship with Diri, which will enable both states make progress.

He stated that Rivers was willing to dialogue and resolve all the legal issues involving both states, insisting that as brothers an amicable solution can be found to the challenges threatening to divide them.

He said: “There is no difference between Rivers and Bayelsa. The creation of Bayelsa was for development purposes. We are one and the same people.

“My visit is a unification meeting. We are here to tell our brother that we want to work together for a common purpose, which is the development of both states.

“We have a lot of things jointly owned by both states. We need to meet and settle all issues. We cannot be developed in a situation of crisis. Peace is the major ingredient for development.

“We appreciate the people of Bayelsa for their solidarity during our trying period. Whatever affects Rivers affects Bayelsa. But equally important is that Nigeria needs peace in Rivers because of our strategic place.”

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