Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has vowed that he will not spill blood to retain his office ahead of the November 11 governorship election in the state.
Governor Diri made the vow at Ogbolomabiri after assessing the security situation in neighbouring Bassambiri in Nembe Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
Men of the police Strategic Weapons and Tactical (SWAT) team and some non-state actors in military camouflage on August 12 invaded Bassambiri community on the orders of the Acting Inspector General of Police.
Some persons suffered gunshot injuries as a result of the invasion while many others were displaced.
Addressing the displaced Bassambiri indigenes at the King Koko Square at Ogbolomabiri, the governor said anyone who sacrifices the lives of the people in order to gain political power does not deserve to lead the state.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, on Sunday, Diri expressed concern over the health and welfare of the displaced people, noting that every life in Bassambiri or Ogbolomabiri was important to him.
He reassured them that his administration will do everything humanly possible to restore peace and order in the Nembe communities.
The Bayelsa helmsman urged leadership of the Nembe-Se Congress to do more in uniting the people, stressing that every Nembe man or woman was one and the same irrespective of linage.
He emphasised that the absence of peace was a recipe for underdevelopment and encouraged the people to live peaceably with one another.
He said: “I will not spill one life to retain my office because every life is important to me. Anyone who wants to be governor should not sacrifice any of you to become governor.
“Bassambiri issues are either political, chieftaincy or economic. Anybody who wants oil company benefits should not sacrifice others to get payment.
“You cannot kill yourselves whether you are from Bassambiri, Ogbolomabiri, Brass, or Odioma. You are all Nembe people. You are all Ijaw people. So, I call on the Nembe-Se Congress to do more in uniting the people of Nembe.
“As a government, we will continue to do what we are doing to unite the people and to develop the area. That is why your government started the very big Nembe-Brass road project, which is a federal government road.”
Diri directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to immediately provide more relief materials for the displaced Bassambiri people.
He added that his administration’s approach to the wellbeing of the people is to provide empowerment and skills acquisition and not to equip the youths with guns in order to kill.
At Bassambiri, Governor Diri met with the leader of the SWAT team.
He advised the police squad against any form of intimidation and discriminatory show of force in the community.
He also urged the team to restrict itself to protecting lives and maintaining law and order and not to delve into the politics of the area.
He equally asked the team to avoid issues bordering on chieftaincy and political squabbles in the community as well as cautioned against selective arrests.
The governor was accompanied on the visit by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, immediate past deputy governor of the state, retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah, service commanders from the Army, Navy, Air Force, the military joint task force (Operation Delta Safe), the Commissioner of Police and the Director, State Security Services as well as state legislators and other top government functionaries.