ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has again justified the decision of the South-South governors to ban open grazing of cattle in the states of the geopolitical zone.
He maintained that herders should not be allowed to use their business to destroy that the farmers in the zone.
He also stressed the need for the geopolitical zone to shun politics of violence and be united.
He spoke during a one-day zonal prayer summit organised by the South-South zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at Saint Patrick Catholic Church, Ovom, Yenagoa, a statement by his media aide, Daniel Alabrah, said on Wednesday.
Diri said that politics should be seen as a means to develop the people and not to kill and disunite them.
He urged Christians not to avoid politics, saying that even Jesus Christ was concerned about the welfare of the people, which politics is all about.
He noted that democracy does not require the use of arms but the building of consensus for development and urged the people of the region to embrace politics of development.
Diri said the South-South is blessed with a lot of potentials to be great but that greatness could only be achieved if the people were united.
Diri appreciated the South-South zone of CAN for the prayer summit and urged the church not to relent in praying for the region and the country.
He said: “Politics is about the welfare of people, which Jesus did. So we should not fight ourselves. There is no difference between the church and government.
“South-South is a blessed region. Let us pray that God will give us leaders that will see the potential and develop the region.
“If we cooperate, it will be difficult for any other region to beat us. It is not all about oil. South-South is rich in agriculture and other resources. But we need peace for investors to come in.
“A lot of times we are misunderstood. You can only contrast militancy to Boko Haram but you cannot compare them.
“Again, I want to justify the decision of the South-South governors to ban open grazing. Herders should not be allowed to use their business to destroy that the farmers.
“If we are united as southerners, there are a lot of benefits. Our economy will boom as we have the potential. Ultimate power belongs to the people. Always look for alternative ways to caution government rather than resort to protest as the first step to resolve issues.”
Diri thanked the National President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Wale Oke, and others for being steadfast in prayers and fasting to ensure that Bayelsa did not go into the wrong hands.
In his welcome address, the CAN South-South Zonal Chairman, Archbishop Israel Ege, said the essence of the summit was to seek the face of God for the development of the region and the country at large.
He lauded the governor for his developmental efforts and prayed God to continue to bless him with the grace to serve the people of the state.
Delivering a sermon, Bishop Wale Oke said the nation was passing through challenges that God alone could solve, stressing that nothing was impossible for God.
Describing the South-South as the sustainer of Nigeria, he expressed regrets that the region had not got what it deserved from the country and urged the people to continue to seek the face of God.