Bayelsa govt urges Isoni, Azama communities to co-exist peacefully

The Bayelsa Government has urged the people of Isoni and Azama communties to co-exist peacefully as its mediatory committee is working assiduously to resolve the age-long land dispute between them.

The State Deputy Governor, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, gave the advice during a meeting with representatives of the two neighbouring communities in his office in Yenagoa.

This is contained in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.

Ewhrudjakpo noted that the committee had recorded appreciable progress in its assignment.

He commended both communities for their show of understanding and cooperation so far and urged them to maintain the prevailing peaceful disposition.

“Government will not hesitate to deal with any individual who threatens or disrupts the existing peace in the area under the pretext of protecting his or her interest in the dispute.

“The present administration places high premium on the protection of lives and property.

“It will not fold its arms and watch anybody take the laws into his or her hands for any reason,” he said.

The deputy governor urged them to report individuals whose activities might constitute a security threat in the area to appropriate government agencies for action.

In their separate submissions, the Ibenanaowei of Oyiakiri Clan, King Joshua Igbagara and his Apoi counterpart, King Ikpangi Perekibina, commended the state government for its effort on resolving the land dispute

The land dispute is between Isoni Community in Sagbama Local Council Area and Azama in Southern Ijaw.

They both committed their communities to the peace process and assured the government of their support in the maintenance of law and order in the area.

Present at the meeting were the Chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Chief Nigeria Kia, his Sagbama counterpart, Mr Embeleakpo Alale.

Others were the state Attorney General, Mr Biriyai Dambo, Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr Esau Andrew and the Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Development, Chief Thompson Amule. (NAN)