By Oke Peter
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike on Monday declared that the disputed Soku oil wells belong to the people of the state as affirmed by a Federal High Court. He said the court verdict was based on the admission by the National Boundary Commission that it erroneously shifted the boundary between Rivers State and Bayelsa State, from River Santa Barbara to River Saint Batholomew in the 11th Edition of the administrative map of Nigeria.
Wike described the allegations made against him by his Bayelsa counterpart as baseless.“In 2002, the NBC altered the boundary in the 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria. They made a mistake by shifting the boundary from River Santa Barbara to River St Batholomew. At the Supreme Court, the NBC wrote a letter admitting their error. The Supreme Court made an order for the NBC to correct the error of the 11th Edition in the 12th Edition,” he said.
Wike said seven years after the Supreme Court gave the order, the NBC was yet to effect the correction. He said that preliminary report on the 12th Edition, indicated that the NBC made no attempt to obey the order of the Supreme Court.“We had to sue the NBC to enforce the order of the Supreme Court, where they were directed to ensure that the Boundary Between Rivers and Bayelsa State is River Santa Barbara.
“Judgment has been given. The best the Bayelsa State Governor can do is to go on appeal. You cannot heap your frustration on us. We have nobody to carry guns, so the best place to go is the court.”He stated that he was elected by Rivers people to protect their interest. He said there was nothing personal in the fight for Soku Oil Wells.
“The Outgoing Bayelsa State Governor is the one trying to cause disharmony by attempting to collect what belongs to the Ijaw in Rivers State. Contrary to the allegation by the Outgoing Bayelsa State Governor, there is no local Government Area in Rivers State where we don’t have projects. Let him mention the projects he has in the eight local Government Areas of Bayelsa State. Dickson cannot in all ramifications compare himself to me in terms of development.
“He said that for a small state like Bayelsa, it was wrong for the outgoing governor to expend N70 billion on an uncompleted airport, when Bayelsa State lacks good roads and basic infrastructure. He regretted that the outgoing Bayelsa State governor refused to respect the rules of protocol, when he visited the Amanyanabo of Kalabari without informing the Rivers State government.
“You have no respect. A traditional ruler who is a first class ruler, recognised by government and you say you are coming to a state as a governor to see Rivers Ijaw people without observing basic protocol,” he said.
Governor Wike said there were no oil wars between Rivers State and Imo or Akwa Ibom States as claimed by Dickson. He said that he went to court against Imo State to challenge the attempt to take what belongs to Rivers State. He added that he went to court against Akwa Ibom State because of illegal deductions of funds from Rivers State by the agencies of the Federal Government. According to him, he still enjoys a good working relationship with the Governors of Imo and Akwa Ibom states.
He said that through the poor leadership of the Bayelsa State governor, the PDP Governors Forum and the PDP South-South Governors Forum failed. Governor Wike berated Dickson for claiming that he was interfering in Bayelsa State politics. He said that before Dickson became governor, it was Secondus and King Turner that brought him (Dickson) to receive his (Governor Wike’s) support.He said that Dickson was never committed to the PDP all through the elections. He said: “We are the only state in the South-South that President Muhammadu Buhari never got 25 per cent. Buhari got 45 per cent in Bayelsa State. So who colluded with who? It is now that Dickson has realised that they played him? All those nocturnal promises were not kept. I challenge Dickson to ask his candidate, Senator Douye Diri the contributions I made. Is it because I didn’t pass them through him?
“Dickson planned for PDP to fail elections and he is now crying federal Might. He assumed the role of God. Nobody could tell him anything. During his second term election, people resisted the army. But this time, they left him alone. “You cannot accord former President Goodluck Jonathan respect. Simply because Rivers State honoured Jonathan, Dickson became angry.”
He added: “Dickson concluded plans to join the APC. Timipre Silva and Heineken Lokpobiri blocked him. He knew I have strength, he would have consulted me. Governor Wike said he was a good representative of Rivers State as he used their mandate effectively to develop the state. He said in four and half years, he had achieved more for Rivers State than Dickson did for Bayelsa State in about eight years.