The Bayelsa State Government has warned against the politicization of
the Government’s decision to designate the Bayelsa palm as a grazing
site for Fulani herdsmen and their cattle.
Reacting to reports in the media, the Special Adviser to the Bayelsa
State Governor on Security Matters, Chief (Dr.) Boma Spero-Jack noted
that, the security implications of the decision, by far outweigh the
political consideration and should be treated as such.
According to him, the Government had deliberately set up the Committee
on the Management and Control of Ranches, which included
representatives of the various arms of the security agencies, youths,
the traditional rulers and other relevant groups, because of the need
to properly monitor the activities of the herdsmen, with a view to
ensuring that, they do not breach the existing security, law and order
in the State, and even if any crises arises could be timely nipped in
Chief Spero-Jack, therefore, debunked the report, credited to Ijaw
human rights activist and front line campaigner for resource control,
Annkio Briggs, that Governor Seriake Dickson donated land belonging to
the Ijaw Nation to Fulani Herdsmen to graze their cattle.
The Security Adviser described the claims purportedly made by Annkio
Briggs as spurious, misinformed, an act of mischief and a deliberate
attempt to paint the Governor in bad light before the Ijaw Nation.
While condemning the calls for protest against Governor Dickson, he
explained that, the Governor did not at any time donate land to Fulani
herdsmen, but rather provided a land space at the Bayelsa Palm area to
restrict the herdsmen and prevent their cattle from straying about and
destroying peoples’ farmlands and crops, stressing that, the
Government took the decision to avoid any conflicts that could arise
between the herdsmen and Bayelsans, as a result of their grazing
activities, while also boosting the State’s IGR, as the herdsmen are
made to pay some stipulated amount of money on the regular basis into
the Government coffers.
Chief Spero-Jack pointed out that, the waste from the cattle will also
serve as manure to make the soil within the Bayelsa palm estate more
fertile for future cultivation.
He went on to call on Bayelsans and indeed the peace loving people of
the Ijaw Nation to completely disregard the reports, as Governor
Dickson means well for the Ijaw people and will not do anything that
will place his people in a disadvantageous position politically,
economically and otherwise.
Having served as legal Adviser to the Ijaw National Congress, INC at
some point, Governor Dickson is fully aware of the Ijaw position in
the affairs of the country and will continue to introduce and
implement policies and programmes that, will project and protect the
overall interest of the Ijaws, both at home and in the diaspora at all
He, however, noted with satisfaction, the fears and feelings being
expressed by Annkio Briggs and other patriotic Ijaw sons and
daughters, but urged them to always cross check their facts before
taking very sensitive issues such as this to the public domain.