President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the governors of Rivers and Bayelsa states as well as elders and leaders of the host community involved in the dispute over oil wells to cease media hostilities pointing out that the escalation in the media war would not help in the peaceful resolution of the dispute.
The president’s position was conveyed in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati.
According to the president, the media campaign is not only unbecoming, it was also unnecessary and unhelpful to the reconciliation process.
The statement reads:
“The Presidency has noted with concern the rather unbecoming, unnecessary and unhelpful media war between the Bayelsa and Rivers State Governments over the rightful ownership of some oil wells.
“The Presidency believes that this media war which appears to be escalating with each passing day can only hinder and negate efforts already initiated by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to achieve an amicable resolution of the dispute in the best interest of the affected communities, the two states and the nation.
“President Jonathan therefore requests the Governors of both states to facilitate and help to create the right atmosphere for the successful conclusion of the peace process by ordering an immediate stoppage of all acrimonious public comments against each other over the dispute.
“Having already had very useful discussions with the Rivers State Governor and Kalabari elders over the weekend, President Jonathan intends to take the process forward at another scheduled meeting at 11 am at the Presidential Villa on Friday, November 9, 2012 with the governors of the two states, leaders of the affected communities and all concerned stakeholders.
“President Jonathan consequently urges the two governors and leaders of the affected communities to ensure that no further spiteful or inciting comments are made against each other to pollute the right atmosphere for constructive dialogue and brotherly reconciliation which he is striving to promote for the amicable resolution of the dispute.
“He looks forward to receiving the Rivers and Bayelsa State delegations in Abuja on Friday”.