A clarion call has gone to Senator Duoye Diri’s administration to as a matter of urgency revoke former governor Seriake Dickson’s unpopular policy of ceding Bayelsa palm to herders, saying that if not revoked it might in the nearest future lead to genocide.
Chief Bonus Wumbo made the call on the heels of incessant attacks on communities in the South South especially in Delta State resulting in loss of lives and sources of likelihood.
Wumbo who is also a right activist and Chairman of Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in Bayelsa State warned that if nothing is done to reverse the allocation of the land to herdsmen, the obnoxious decision of Dickson would lead to loss of lives of Epie-Atissa people as well as those of Elebele and Otuokpoti owing to murderous activities of the cattle rearers.
The Provost Epie-Atissa Development Foundation noted that besides the threat to the lives of Bayelsans the Epie- Atissa women are now unable to go to their farm for fear of being killed.
He recalled a statement credited to Utman Dan Fodio wherein he stated that the land of Nigeria from the North to the Atlantic Ocean belongs to the Fulanise, adding that this could be another Jihad which the herders are about to execute.
The HDP party chairman slammed former governor Seriake Dickson for ceding Bayelsa Palm to herders as his action is self-seeking with the intention to be in the good books of the northern oligarchy because of his selfish and clannish ambition.
Epie-Atissa born right activist explained that the immediate past governor of Bayelsa State instead of turning Bayelsa into a Palm oil hub because of its economic important decided to allocate Bayelsa Palm to herders who are notorious for sacking their host communities as can be seen in Benue and Plateau States.
He stated that Bayelsans especially Epie-Atissa people are against Dickson’s wicked policy and called on Duoye Diri to recind that decision by revoking the policy with immediate effect as it does not serve the interest of the state.
His words: ” Dickson’s decision to ced Bayelsa Palm to Fulani herdsmen is not only wicked, selfish and callous but a threat to to the lives of Epie-Atissa people and Bayelsans in general. Now, come to think of it, our women can no longer access their farms because of fear on being attacked.
” You are conversant with what is happening in our neighboring Delta State, because of the crisis between herdsmen and their host communities resulting in killings. So there is fear that in the future such incident might happen in Bayelsa.
” Look at the way killings are taking place in other part of Nigeria where cattle rearers after sometime may want to claim ownership of the land given to them for their cattle business and if the owners say no to that, then crisis is bound to erupt.
” So, my advice to Senator Duoye Diri is for him to recind that decision by ordering them out of the land as their continuous stay does not benefit the people whatsoever, but instead it has become a threat to lives and the livelihood of Bayelsans.
” What I want the Governor to do is to make sure Bayelsa Palm becomes a money spinner. Can’t Bayelsa be like Malaysia? Where their major source of revenue is oil Palm. Note that Malaysia in the early 70s came to Niger Delta to collect oil Palm seeds to plant in their country but today they are doing well exporting oil Palm to the world.
” Bayelsa can also be like Malaysia if only our leaders and politicians are sincere and selfless in dealing with the masses. They are supposed to have the interest of the state at heart by investing in business ventures that would create employment and as well bring about infrastructural development instead what they do is to loot and amass the Commonwealth of the people for their grandchildren who most times squander the ill gotten wealth,” Wumbo concluded.
Recall that in the month of March, 2017 the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson allocated Bayelsa Palm to Fulani herdsmen this attracted protest by Ijaw women led by the foremost environmental right activist, Ankio Briggs, the reason for their protest was to have the state government halt the allocation of Ijaw land to herders following killings in Agatu, Enugu and some northern part of Nigeria by Fulani cattle rearers.
He lamented the rot in the Niger Delta Development Commission over the years as it has become a cesspool of corruption, littered with numerous abandoned and uncompleted projects which if they had been completed would have transformed the region in line with the mandate setting up the intervensionist agency.
He emphasized that the reasons for the establishment of the Commission is defeated owing majorly to the corrupt and myopic thinking of the various managing directors who headed the agency one time or the other, adding the Commission came into being due to agitations against the under development of the region.
Wumbo further emphasized that these agitations gave rise to the setting up of Henry Willing Commission of 7th January, 1958 as this led to the creation of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority, after that emerged the Ompadec and finally metamorphosed into the NDDC.