RE: ‘‘UNEASY CALM IN BAYELSA COUNCIL, AS PLOT AGAINST ASSEMBLY SPEAKER THICKENS.”
The attention of the Executive Chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government Council has been drawn to unfounded and frivolous reportin Leadership Newspaper and Daily Newswatch Newspaper dated September 1, 2014 with the headline ‘‘UNEASY CALM IN BAYELSA COUNCIL, AS PLOT AGAINST ASSEMBLY SPEAKER THICKENS.”
The report is nothing but a figment of the imagination of the reporters aimed at rocking the cordial relationship between our respected Speaker, Rt. Hon Konbowei Benson and my humble self as well as destroying the good work being done by the Oil and Gas Task Force in riding our council area of crude oil thieves, pipeline vandals and illegal refinery operators whose activities have not only impacted negatively on our environment but also on the revenue profile of our Country, State and Local Government.
Silence, the saying goes, is golden but need to set the record straight and let the undiscerning public know the truth that the story as published by the two medium which was intended to paint the picture of a people not working collectively for the upliftment of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and the good people of our dear State necessitated my response.
It is on record that since we inaugurated the Southern Ijaw Local Government Oil & Gas Task Force on the 8th day of May, 2014, the state crude oil production in the council area has increased tremendously to a level that has never been experienced in the last three (3) years.
This has in turn boosted the revenue of not only the Federal Government but also of Bayelsa State and Southern Ijaw Local Government Council.
It is therefore not out of place for people who have been selfishly profiteering from the illegal refinery and oil theft business to sponsor spurious and jaundiced write up portraying the Oil and Gas Task Force as an organ set up and funded to diminished the exalted office of the Rt Hon Speaker and scuttle his political ambition.
The Oil and Gas Task Force is not a political party and as such do not have any power to influence the politics of the council area.
It is also not true that youths of Southern Ijaw extraction are being recruited to install some persons that are preparing to contest for the forth coming elections in the LGA amongst others.
The Southern Ijaw Oil and Gas Task Force does not have politics as its objective.
Its fundamental objective is to stop illegal oil bunkering and all forms of pipeline vandalism as well as oil theft in the Local Government Area of the State.
The Oil and Gas Task Force is a product of law, which bill was sponsoredand passed into law before the setting up of the Task Force to operate.
Accordingly, with respect to funding of the Task Force raised in the said two publications, it is apt to state that by virtue of the Bye Law setting up the Task Force, Southern Ijaw Local Government council is required to seek funding partnership from all stakeholders in the Oil & Gas sector who are beneficiaries of the increase in production capacity and revenue.
It is also not true that the Southern Ijaw Local Government Oil & Gas Task Force is being used as a platform to antagonize the political aspiration of the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. In fact, the Task Force is only concerned with Oil and Gas facility security and has no business in politics. It should also be noted that the Task Force which is a product of law couldn’t be used to fight or antagonize anybody, talk less of the Speaker, who is the leader of the legislative arm of Government in the State.
As a task force saddled with the responsibility of complimenting the work of the security forces in curbing oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal refinery camps in our troubled creek and waterways, it does not have the where-withal to unseat anybody since it is not a political party and does not have control of any party structure of any political party and as such could not decide who hold any political office.
In line with the cardinal dictate of democracy, it is the right of any individual from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area to vie for any political position in the state if such person so wishes as nobody has the right to stop any body.
With regards to the mention of Mr. David Lyon in the two above-mentioned false and malicious publications, it is urged that same be disregarded. Mr. David Lyon is my personal friend and a firm supporter of the Governor Henry Seriaki Dickson led restoration government, who supports every lofty government policy of my administration, that has direct bearing to the ordinary man and has been giving support to the Task Force because same is ‘a project aimed at empowering our youths, protecting our environment for future generation and boosting our economy’.
It is also disheartening and surprising to read in the said publication of the expression of concern by politicians loyal to the Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, on the purported criminal attack on the Task Force by bandits on the instruction of Paul Eris aka Ogunboss, and the attendant investigation of the matter by the various security agencies, not forgetting the insults rained on our highly respected Governor by this questionable character.
As a firm believer of the Hon. Henry Seriaki Dickson’s Restoration Agenda, which has zero tolerance for crime and criminality, we will not be deterred by this jaundiced publication. The Task Force will continue to carry out its responsibility to protect the environment for future generations yet unborn, as well as work to increase the revenue earning of the Country, the State and Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
It is crystal clear that the sponsors of the publication have failed in theirmalevolence mission to disparage the Task Force, ignite political crisis in the Local Government Area and demoralize members of the Task Force.
We will not fold our arms and watch the environmental despoliation being unleashed on our environment by a cabal who are prepared to go any length to fuel confusion among our people so as to further entrenched themselves in their heinous trade and bleed our council, state and nation of needed revenue.
Finally, Southern Ijaw Local Government Council hereby call on allstakeholders to support the Remember Ogbe led government and the Task Force, and also use this medium to commend the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, His Excellency, Hon. Henry Seriaki Dickson, the Joint Task Force (J.T.F), the Police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp and the Navy for their untiring efforts in ensuring that crude oil theft, illegal refining of petroleum products, pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering is put to a stop in the Council area.
The general public is hereby urged to disregard this false, misleading and malicious information contained in the above-mentioned two publications.
CHIEF REMEMBER P.N OGBE
Southern Ijaw LGA