The Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has warned those fomenting trouble and beating the drums of war in Opu-Nembe in Nembe Local Government Area of the state to desist forthwith or face the wrath of the law.
Speaking in Government House, Yenagoa, when members of the Nembe Se Congress paid him a courtesy visit on Friday, Diri stated that government will not fold its arms and watch a few individuals disturb the peace of the Nembe kingdom, particularly in the Bassambiri community.
The governor in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, expressed displeasure over the actions of a few people fomenting trouble yet playing the victim.
He stated that the government would take appropriate action against anyone found wanting, irrespective of their status.
He said, “As a government, we will not sit down and watch anybody make Nembe-Bassambiri ungovernable.
“Let me say this with all sense of responsibility that those who have been playing politics with security in the area will be dealt with no matter how highly placed.”
Diri stressed that without peace, development would elude the people of the area and that all hands ought to be on deck to ensure that peace prevailed in the Bassamiri community.
He lauded the Nembe Se Congress for their interest in the Nembe-Brass road, saying he is encouraged by the group’s partnership with the state government to ensure the project saw the light of day.
He urged other groups in the state to emulate the Nembe kingdom’s apex socio-cultural organisation by showing interest in government projects, its activities and raising concerns in appropriate quarters rather than engaging in social media criticisms.
Diri further stated that apart from economic reasons, the government embarked on the construction of the Nembe-Brass road to reduce travel time to communities in the area as well as the cost and risk of water transportation.
He frowned at those playing politics with the road project, saying since news broke about the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited taking over the construction of the road, nothing had been done by the company or the Federal Government.
Responding to a request to upgrade facilities in schools in Nembe, the governor said the government was not leaving any stone unturned in its effort to transform the education sector.
He explained that the educational direction of the state was science and vocational education in order to empower the youths beyond paper certificates.
Diri added: “Like every other project we have embarked upon, we will not abandon the Nembe-Brass road. The benefits of that road are enormous.
“I like to appreciate you for giving serious attention to the road project. We cannot play politics with it. We should move beyond playing politics with our development.
“Let me also state that since the issue of NNPCL coming to take over construction of the road came up, I have not seen any action from them.”
Earlier, the president of Nembe Se Congress, Dr Ebiegberi Domo-Spiff, lauded Diri for taking the bull by the horns to kick-start the Nembe-Brass road project.
He called on the government to strictly monitor the project by appointing a consultant with the relevant expertise to ensure that it meets the specification and that it is completed within the timeframe.
Domo-Spiff also appealed to the government to provide ferry boats to ease water transportation in the Nembe and Brass axis, as well as ensure strict compliance with maritime laws to improve safety on the waterways.
He equally requested for a campus of the Bayelsa Medical University in the area, to which the governor responded that he would look into the law establishing the institution to see if there was provision for a multiple-campus structure.