PORT-HARCOURT: The Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has insisted that the disputed Soku oil wells belong to Rivers state.
He pointed out the Supreme Court had affirmed the oil wells belong to Rivers following admission by the National Boundary Commission (NBC) that it erroneously shifted the boundary between Rivers and Bayelsa States from River Santa Barbara to River Saint Batholomew in the 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria.
Wine spoke with reporters in Port-Harcourt on Monday, December 23, 2019.
According a statement e-signed and made available to journalists by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant on Electronic Media to the governor, Wike said, “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 a 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 lamented seven years after the Supreme Court gave the order the NBC was yet to effect the correction.
He pointed out 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.
He said there was nothing personal in the fight for Soku Oil Wells.
“I am protecting what belongs to Rivers State Ijaw. I am protecting what belongs to Rivers State.”
Wike accused Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson of plotting to hijack the oil wells, saying, “The outgoing Bayelsa State Governor is the one trying to cause disharmony by attempting to collect what belongs to the Ijaw in Rivers State.”
He berated Dickson for refusing to respect the rules of Protocol when he visited the Amanyanabo of Kalabari without informing the Rivers State Government.
“The person talking about invading Rivers State in January 2020 lacks respect for Protocol. If he was well schooled, would he use that phrase that he wants to invade Rivers State?
“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.
“Protocol demands you call your colleague that you are coming to the State. Even then, the Traditional Ruler failed to communicate with the State Government. And I said, if you do this next time, I will withdraw the Recognition. I didn’t say I will dethrone him.
“I don’t make Chiefs. But I have the power to recognise or take back recognition if you run foul of the law. I have no regrets about it.
“Anyone who runs foul of the law, I will withdraw the Recognition and heaven will not fall. I never said that I will dethrone the Amanyanabo of Kalabari.
“I said that I will withdraw the Recognition by the Rivers State Government if he continues to disrespect the office of the Governor and not play according to the rules.
“How can Dickson invade Rivers State when he cannot defend Bayelsa State?”