• Okuama: Diri visits Igbomotoro, warns against return of militancy

    Okuama diri visits igbomotoro warns against return of militancy - nigeria newspapers online
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    Okuama: Diri visits Igbomotoro, warns against return of militancy

    Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa State

    Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun

    By Shedrack Frank

    Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has warned young people in Bayelsa to bury the idea of bringing back the era of militancy to Ijaw land. The governor, in his visit to Igbomotoro Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area on Tuesday, said the era of militancy was over in the region.

    Diri visited the riverine community after the invasion of the community by the military in search of suspected killers of the 17 soldiers in Okuama, Delta, on March 14.

    He said that young people should henceforth consider intellectual engagement to a militancy approach to issues.

    Addressing the leadership and cross section of the community at their town hall, Diri condemned the brutal killing of the soldiers.

    He said it was unfortunate that what happened in Delta was being felt by the people of the community.

    “I have come to meet with you, the Igbomotoro community, that enough is enough; in every season there is a time for everything.

    “The era of militancy is over, and this is the era of intellectual engagement. This is what your government is set to do, and your government has been doing.

    “Ijaw people are very intelligent people, we can compete with anybody anywhere in the world, and we should not be seen as cannon folders, and this is a warning to all of those who are still cannon folders to have a rethink.

    “Your government is establishing schools, particularly schools with skills acquisition, science and technical colleges, even empowering programmes, and we want our youths to key into it and drop your guns.

    “Youths cannot take over the leadership of the community by force, that is what we have started seeing in our communities, and this again will be a warning to all of our traditional rulers.

    “They must stay at home to lead the people and any traditional ruler that is not found in his base, I will promptly remove that traditional ruler,” he said.

    He, however, urged the military to continue with their painstaking investigation to unveil the killers and their sponsors, adding that they must be apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the law.

    “That is my humble appeal to the Nigerian military and all the security agencies.

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    “Those who must have sponsored, even the killers, all should be brought to book.

    “You cannot imagine soldiers who are actually expected to secure us as civilians being brutally murdered in broad daylight,” he said.

    Diri wondered if the oil that was meant to be a blessing to the region had become a curse.

    “What are we looking for? Is it the oil?

    “Has oil actually become a curse in the Ijaw nation rather than a blessing to Ijaw land? Has oil become a curse to Bayelsa State rather than a blessing to the people of Bayelsa State?

    “That is why a very efficient and uncorrupted investigation should be launched, who knows if oil is part of what has led to these killings.

    “We hear it is land issues, until the investigations are revealed, we will not know what truly caused this brutal killings of our security men. Nobody has the power to take the life of another man.

    “We cannot go back to the days of Isaac Adaka Boro; this is a different era. Thank you for your patience and I believe that this will not happen again,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the governor commended the military high command for ensuring that what happened in Odi in 1999 did not happen in the community.

    “The military has cooperated, and they told me that you can go about your normal businesses; they will not hurt innocent people.

    “I am sure that from when that incident happened until today, at least we are beginning to have total freedom in Igbomotoro community.

    “Please go about your normal business as we will continue to engage the Federal Government and the military high command so that this incident will be brought to a permanent rest, but those who killed must be brought to book,” he explained”.

    The governor was accompanied by the Commanding Officer, 16 Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Yenagoa, Brig.-Gen. Oluremi Obolo; Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Nibofa Ayawei, and other government officials.


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