Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has described the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari as another step taken by the federal government to subordinate the oil-producing states.
The governor, while speaking during the state banquet to mark Nigeria’s 61 years independence anniversary and 25th anniversary of the creation of Bayelsa State Friday in Yenagoa, appealed to aggrieved interests across the country to stop the bloodletting and use dialogue to resolve differences.
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He urged the federal government to reconsider the provisions of the PIA for the good of the oil-producing states and the interest of peace.
He said: “The recent passage and signing into law of the Petroleum Industry Act which I have tagged ‘as a recipe for anarchy’ is yet another step taken to subordinate the oil-producing states and make it more like a subordinate and superordinate relationship.
“There is a missing gap which the relationship of our dear state Bayelsa and indeed the Niger Delta states and the centre is affected.
“I keep saying it at all times that every day, we as a people, we worship, every Sunday, we go to Church to worship, every Friday the Muslims go to Mosque to worship, but we still have sins in our society.
“Therefore, in the same vein, we will not be tired to continue to talk about justice and freedom for Bayelsa State and indeed the Niger Delta region.
“And for us as a state, I like to let us know that our oil is diminishing. There is a forecast that very soon nobody will trade on oil again.
“The European countries have already started doing away with fossils.
“Therefore, while the oil still lasts, even though we have only 13%, and 87% is appropriated to the federal government, we will continue to talk about it, but as we keep talking about it, we have to look for other ways of diversifying our economy in Bayelsa State.
“We are gathered here today to honour and renew the dreams of our founding fathers, of an egalitarian and prosperous Bayelsa State and Nigeria.
“All of us here, particularly the founding fathers will attest to the fact that Bayelsa has moved on.
The governor appealed to those who are aggrieved to stop the bloodletting across the country.
He added, “Recently, we have lost very meaningful Nigerian in Anambra State, that is an ill wind that could not blow any state good.
“Let us look for dialogue to resolve our differences; we know it is very painful when people push aside dialogue, but I remind those people that people who make peaceful change possible make violent change inevitable.”