From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed concern over the exchange of words between Rotimi Amaechi and Seriake Dickson of Rivers and Bayelsa states over the ownership of oil wells. Jonathan said following the useful discussions with the Rivers State governor and Kalabari elders over the weekend, he was already looking forward to another meeting with both governors, leaders of the affected communities and all concerned stakeholders on Friday.
The meeting, according to him, is aimed at resolving the dispute. The Bayelsa State Government, in response to Friday’s attacks by Rivers State, had warned it to stop heating up the polity by whipping up sympathy for itself. In a statement, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Markson Fefegha, rebuked Rivers State for attempting to denigrate the presidency and also accused it of trying to incite disaffection between the Ijaws in the two states.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president described the media war between the governors as unbecoming and unnecessary, adding that the escalating hot exchange was capable of truncating the peace process he had initiated to end the dispute.
He urged both states governors to help create the right atmosphere for the successful conclusion of the peace process by ordering an immediate stoppage of all acrimonious public comments against each other over the dispute.
The statement reads: “The Presidency has noted with concern the rather unbecoming, unnecessary and unhelpful media war between the Bayelsa and Rivers state governments over the rightful ownership of some oil wells. “The Presidency believes that this media war which appears to be escalating with each passing day can only hinder and negate efforts already initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan to achieve an amicable resolution of the dispute in the best interest of the affected communities, the two states and the nation. “President Jonathan, therefore, requests the governors of both states to facilitate and help to create the right atmosphere for the successful conclusion of the peace process by ordering an immediate stoppage of all acrimonious public comments against each other over the dispute.
“Having already had very useful discussions with the Rivers State governor and Kalabari elders over the weekend, President Jonathan intends to take the process forward at another scheduled meeting at 11am at the Presidential Villa on Friday with the governors of the two states, leaders of the affected communities and all concerned stakeholders.
“President Jonathan consequently urges the two governors and leaders of the affected communities to ensure that no further spiteful or inciting comments are made against each other to pollute the right atmosphere for constructive dialogue and brotherly reconciliation which he is striving to promote for the amicable resolution of the dispute. “He looks forward to receiving the Rivers and Bayelsa state delegations in Abuja on Friday.”