Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has urged the Federal government to cancel the controversial Rural Grazing Area Policy (RUGA) policy.
According to him the Federal government should not just suspend the policy but cancel it out rightly to preserve the unity of the country.
Dickson who said the Ruga policy was inimical to national unity and cohesion, described it as provocative, divisive and unhelpful.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, on Thursday, quoted the governor as having made the comment while speaking on the first day of the inter-denominational prayer and fasting service for the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state on Wednesday night.
Dickson declared that Bayelsa under his leadership would not give out an inch of its territory for the establishment of any such RUGA settlement as proposed by the Federal government.
He stressed that any move to grab land in the state for the purpose of building RUGA settlement would be challenged.
Dickson suggested that those involved in cattle business should be encouraged to go into ranching rather the RUGA settlement arrangement.
He said: “I said it some days ago and I am saying it again that Bayelsa will not be a part of RUGA. That is a most provocative, divisive and unhelpful policy. We call for the immediate cancellation of that policy.
“Under me as leader of this state, Bayelsa will not have even an inch of land available for any RUGA settlement. It will not be allowed and will be challenged.
“People should be encouraged to go into ranching as a business and not be moving around causing problems and mayhem. That’s what we will support, not RUGA settlements. Do we have Ijaw fishermen settlements in other states?”
On the governorship election, Dickson said that the next governor of the state should be a person of courage, who should be able to speak out on critical issues affecting the state
He stressed that anybody aspiring to occupy the office of Governor of Bayelsa State should be able to speak out, say the bitter truth on critical issues irrespective of those involved.
The governor explained that the state decided to organise the prayer and fasting programme to seek the face of God in the process of selecting the next leader because of the enormous influence of the office and the need for the right person to succeed him.
He restated his calls on Bayelsans to prevent the emergence of any governor who could use political appointments to lure the people to cultism and other evil practices.