June 13, 2024

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Commissioners Defend Diri Over Allegations Of Plot To Scuttle Fertilizer, Petrochemical Firm

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Bayelsa State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Biriyai Dambo, SAN, has said it is not true that the governor, Senator Douye Diri has been plottling to scuttle work on the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company.
His colleague in the ministry of lands, Mr Esau Andrew has also spoken in the same vein, explaining that the government had to waive the payment for certificate of occupancy on the land in line with the government’s commitment to the project.

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There have been a social media post during the weekend, insinuating that Diri was working hard to make sure the project was scuttled. The minister of state, petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva attracted the project to Brass, where he comes from. But the social media post claimed that Diri was not comfortable with the location of the project, as Odioma was allegedly not a core Ijaw land. Diri is from an area perceived to be core Ijaw.
But the attorney-general said the governor from the inception of his administration has wholly supported the project. “This is a blatant lie. We should try and get our facts straight and right.

“I have been part of the entire meetings with the governor and top officials of Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical Limited. The Bayelsa State Government under Governor Diri is in full support of the project and meetings are still ongoing to fine-tune the Joint Venture Agreement to be executed by the parties. Core Ijaw has had nothing to do with this.
“The progress, development and interest of the state is key to the administration. We must be very circumspect in whatever we utter or write,” Dambo said.
According to a statement from Government House, Andrew, who hails from the host community, Odioama, said in all meetings on the fertiliser project, the governor had shown absolute commitment.

He claimed however that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was being influenced to sabotage the project.
“That was a deliberate, cheap and notorious blackmail intended to poison the minds of Bayelsans, all in a bid to cover a malicious intention. The governor has repeatedly said he would ensure safe and unencumbered operations as well as protect the share of the state and the host community.
“The governor held meeting with the Chiefs Council of Odioama Kingdom and restated his stance of protecting the community’s equity share, and also informed them of his efforts in bringing about the prevailing peace in Odioama Kingdom.

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“Rather, it was someone else who covertly wanted to relocate the Brass fertiliser project from Odioama to the Okpoama LNG site in 2017. But the people of Odioama Kingdom vehemently protested and resisted it.
“This was the same cheap blackmail against the former governor, Seriake Dickson. The people of Odioama are fully aware of it and are ready to protect and defend our ancestral land,” Andrew said.
He also explained that the Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical Company acquired a total of 595 hectares of land from the host community and that the state government had long issued the Certificate of Occupancy and other title documents to the company.

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“The C of O processing fee of N116,075,000 was suspended for two years by the Bayelsa State Government, all in fulfilment of the state’s responsibilities as contained in the Joint Venture Agreement between the state and Brass Fertiliser, a company registered for this purpose by DSV Petroleum Limited. The company has agreed to build and operate a Urea, Methanol and Gas Processing Plant, all to be sited on the 595 hectares of land acquired from Odioama community,” the Lands Commissioner said.

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In the statement that was signed by his chief press secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the governor was quoted as saying that “as governor of the only homogenous Ijaw state, I owe our people the responsibility of promoting and preserving our unity. Having been in the frontlines of advocacy for a better Ijaw nation in the past, I cannot now negate those cherished principles and ideals. It is therefore out of sync to ascribe to my person such primordial and base sentiments.”

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