By Nathan Nwakamma
The Bayelsa Government on Thursday urged community leaders to foster peace in the state, saying that it remained committed to ensuring a peaceful atmosphere for oil and gas exploration and other activities.
Dr Ibere Jones, the state Commissioner for Mineral Resources, made the call at the inauguration of a 25-member Dodo River Community Rural Development Association leadership, in Yenagoa.
The Dodo River Communities Rural Development Association in Ekeremor LGA is host to Chevron Nigeria Ltd. which funds development projects in the area under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).
The communities in the association are Amatu 1, Amatu 2, Bilabiri 1, Bilabiri 2 and Bisangbene.
Jones said that the Douye Diri-led administration placed premium on peace to enable it to fully implement its prosperity agenda.
“The administration of Gov. Douye Diri is very keen on maintaining peace for economic activities to thrive, and it is a prerequisite for the realisation of its prosperity agenda.
“Without peace, there cannot be progress and prosperity.
“The government sees peace as a basis for everything we do, and the governor is very careful and passionate in providing a peaceful environment for businesses to thrive to attract more investment to the state,” Jones said.
The commissioner inaugurated the leaders of the association at the Dodo River Communities Secretariat located at Kpansia in Yenagoa.
He advised the leaders to justify the confidence reposed on them by their communities by running a transparent and accountable administration and ensuring judicious application of development funds at its disposal.
In his inaugural speech, Mr Francis Amamogiran, the Chairman of Dodo River Communities Rural Development Association, noted that the GMoU model adopted by Chevron helped the communities to develop.
“So far, the GMoU has provided an answer to development, transparency, accountability and lasting peace in the Niger Delta.
“I commend Chevron for the history it has made in the Niger Delta with the introduction of the noble idea of the GMoU.
“What is more remarkable is the commitment of officials of Chevron to the implementation of the terms of the GMoU to the letter.
“To my peace-loving communities, I promise to work with this team to attract all forms of development to our communities.
“Your support to me and the GMoU process is my source of strength,” Amamogiran said. (NAN)