|Barrister Iwolo Ibeni|
He stated this, during an interview with the Golden Pen Newspape in the State capital, Yenagoa.
The learned man noted with concern that most of the volatile incidences that crumbled the economy of the state could have been avoided if the Oil companies operating in Bayelsa had established their offices in the State, which he described as the Right of the state and urged the government to enforce that Right by going to court with a view to forestall future occurrences of insurgency and the consequences of economic stagnation and poverty. Hear him:
"The Land use Decree, (Act) by the Federal Government is not against oil companies having offices in the areas of their operation. That is why Shell, Agip, and other companies have their offices in sisterly oil states like Rivers, Akwa/Ibom, Delta and others. The question is why not also in Bayelsa..." he queried.
Barrister Iwolo explained that it is the Right of the Bayelsa state government to drag the erring companies to court to address the repeated violation of the economic rights of the state that had resulted in insecurity of the people claiming lives and property. He used the medium to call on the oil companies operating in the state to establish their offices in the state, in these words:
"The oil companies should as a matter of priority have their offices here in Bayelsa. There is no way you should stay away from the area you operate and expect the people to be happy. If they have their offices here, and there are issues, at least, they will be able to address such issues than jumping all the way from Abuja to address them..."
He said, the oil companies have done a great injustice to the Bayelsa people knowing that oil was first found in commercial quantity in Oloibiri in the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa, wondered why offices are established in every other oil producing state, but Bayelsa had been sidelined or oppressed.
Barrister Iwolo has therefore called on the state government not to shy away from seeking redress in the court of law so as to receive what is the state's rightful dues to boost her Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), he concluded.