One person is feared dead and several others injured in a gun battle over disagreement on pipeline surveillance contracts in Bilabiri community, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Sources say that the gun duel by two rival youth groups in the area was a battle of supremacy over who handles a major multinational oil company’s security contract. Sources confirmed that the said oil security contract, from an unnamed oil multinational, runs into hundreds of millions of naira.  

*Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri

Confirming the development, the Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, Worldwide, has condemned the bloodbath in the Bilabiri community, while calling  on Governor Douye Diri and security agencies in Bayelsa State to intervene.

IYC President, Peter Timothy Igbifa, urged the warring factions to sheathe their swords, as it was irresponsible for Ijaw people to pick arms against themselves over oil contracts.

Igbifa said dialogue remains the best option in dispute resolution, assuring that IYC would work with stakeholders and security agencies to restore peace in Bilabiri, before the situation escalates into further breakdown of law and order.

“It is irresponsible and unbelievable that our brothers will shed their blood because of a job that is coming to their area. As a Council, we condemn the bloody conflict in Bilabiri and we are asking those involved in the dastardly act to stop further bloodshed.

“The Council is calling on security agencies, especially the police to move into the community and restore peace to avert further breakdown of law and order.

“We are also appealing to our governor, Senator Douye Diri to raise a peace panel that will identify the remote and immediate causes of the conflict and permanently resolve them,” IYC said.

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