Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has stressed the need for Niger Delta governors and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) to work together to move the region forward.
Speaking in Government House, Yenagoa, when he hosted the PANDEF delegation led by its National Chairman, Air Commodore Idongesit Ikanga (Rtd), Governor Diri noted that over the years, individuals from other regions had exploited the division in the Niger Delta to further impoverish the people.
He emphasized that time had come for Niger Deltans to speak with one voice.
The governor lauded the formation of PANDEF, which he said would help unite people of the region and foster development.
He further stated that the synergy between the governors and PANDEF would address the developmental challenges of the region.
He appealed to elders of the region to intervene in the conflict between Ijaw communities in Bayelsa and neighboring Rivers State with a view to amicably resolving the lingering issues.
On the request by PANDEF for governors to ensure the Water Resources Bill before the National Assembly does not see the light of day, the Bayelsa helmsman said governors were already taking steps in that regard and expressed optimism that the bill would not sail through.
Governor Diri restated his advocacy for an upward review of the 13 percent derivation to Niger Delta states to promote fairness.
His words: “We all have our national unions but PANDEF is the group that cuts across all of our various unions and therefore the only way forward is for there to be a synergy between the BRACED Commission, the governors of the Niger Delta states and the leadership of PANDEF.
“That way, I am sure that the very nagging issues of underdevelopment, neglect, insecurity and other constitutional matters that affect us as a people can be considered. I am sure that nobody will listen to us if we are divided the way we are today.