By Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State government has accused the Federal Government of not doing enough to stop the hostility, environmental degradation and pollution in the Niger Delta.
The state governor, Douye Diri, therefore, urged the Federal Government to endeavour to do the proper thing at all times in order to stop the hostility and agitations in the region.
Diri, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Konbowei Benson, made the remarks during the closing of the 5th National Council on Hydrocarbons in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The governor, who thanked the organisers for having the programme in the state, said: “Bayelsa is a very safe environment to live in, our hospitality has never been in doubt and that was what gave birth to discovering of the rich oil in the state.
“In 1998, when I was a local government chairman, in a particular forum, a question was raised about development in the area and the answer given was that the development was in the pipelines.
“From that time until now, the pipelines have not rested. We were not known for kidnapping.” He assured the Federal Government of the state’s readiness to partner them, urging that the narrative must be changed for the benefits of all.
He stated: “One of the reasons for the destruction of pipelines and illegal oil bunkering is because the people lack good roads, potable water and even the aquatic lives are also being threatened.
“We are very much ready to partner the Federal Government in terms of oil and gas and also to secure the natural resources.
“We have been so neglected by the Federal Government as they left us behind in most of the things, so that has brought untold hardship to the people.
“For us to succeed, we must sit down and collaborate better because it is believed to be one sided – one party is smiling while the other is crying and that is not the way it should be.”
In his keynote address, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, gave glory to God and thanked everyone that made the council meeting a success.