The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, on Friday described the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) as another ploy by the Federal Government to undermine the oil-producing states in the country.
The governor, who stated this in his address at a state banquet put together to mark Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary and 25th anniversary of Bayelsa State creation held in Yenagoa, stressed that the PIA has redefined the relationship between the oil-producing states and the federal government to look more like “a subordinate and superordinate affair.”
He urged the federal government to take another look at certain provisions of the PIA for the good of the oil-producing states.
The governor also appealed to aggrieved interests across the country to embrace dialogue in resolving differences.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the PIA on August 16.
Diri 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.
“May I appeal to those who are aggrieved to stop the bloodletting across the country. Recently, we have lost a very meaningful Nigerian in Anambra State, which is an ill wind that will not blow any state any good. Let us look for dialogue to resolve our differences.
“There is a missing gap in which the relationship of our dear state Bayelsa and indeed the Niger Delta states and the centre is affected.
“I keep saying at all times, that we worship every Sunday in churches while Muslims go to the mosque on Fridays to worship, but we still have sins in our society.
“Therefore, in the same vein, we will not be tired to continue talking about justice and freedom for Bayelsa State and indeed the Niger Delta region.
“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 fossil fuel.
“Therefore, while the oil still lasts, even though we have only 13 percent, and 87 percent 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.”
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