Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has reiterated the continued enforcement of the state government’s indefinite suspension of chiefs and the youth body in Bassambiri community in Nembe Local Government Area.

The governor made this statement while receiving the report from the judicial panel of inquiry, which was set up to investigate the communal crisis that erupted in Nembe-Bassambiri on February 15 of the previous year, resulting in three fatalities. The panel, established on August 15, 2023, concluded its findings on September 29, 2023.

Senator Diri emphasized the political nature of the crisis, stating that it was three-pronged but predominantly political rather than economic or traditional. He urged the warring factions in the community to prioritize peace, assuring that his administration would take all necessary measures to establish lasting peace.

During the report presentation at the Government House in Yenagoa, Governor Diri expressed the importance of a peaceful atmosphere for societal development and condemned continuous violence. He announced the formation of a five-man committee, led by the Secretary to the State Government, Alabo Gideon Ekeuwei, to review the panel’s report within two weeks and provide advice on its implementation. Other committee members include the Acting Chief of Staff, Dr. Peter Akpe, the Head of Service, Mrs. Biobelemoye Charles-Onyeama, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Legal Matters, Alabo Ozubide.

Governor Diri called on the Inspector General of Police to redeploy special forces from the community to restore peace, urging a collective effort to ensure peace across the state. He said, “Today, we almost have an occupying police force in Nembe-Bassambiri. A special force from the Inspector-General of Police has been there before and after last year’s governorship election. I believe that there are other states in the country that need the services of the special force more than Nembe-Bassambiri today.”

The panel’s report, presented by Diepreye Omubo, the panel’s secretary, detailed the findings and recommendations, concluding the assignment after obtaining an extension. Other panel members included Chief Fedude Zimughan, Dr. Josephine Igodo, Lady Love Amaseimogha, and Mr. Vining Goselle, representing the National Human Rights Commission, Bayelsa Office.

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