Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has advised the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to beam his searchlight on the activities of the National Boundary Commission, claiming that the organisation now personifies corruption in Nigeria.
He also tackled those allegedly conspiring against the state.
The governor spoke at a thanksgiving service held at Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Port Harcourt on Sunday over the state’s victory at the Supreme Court in the oil well dispute between it and Imo State.
A statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, on Sunday, quoted Wike as saying that at the inception of his administration, the state was dedicated to God and has enjoyed his protection, including its people and natural resources.
He explained that the oil wells in Akiri and Mbede communities, though in dispute, awaited the proper boundaries demarcation by the NBC
While the waiting was on, there was a political understanding between Imo State and Rivers State that Dr. Peter Odili of Rivers State and Achike Udenwa of Imo State acceded to when they served as governors.
Governor Wike noted as regrettable and an act of greed that former governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State and the current governor Hope Uzodima of Imo State rescinded the political arrangement of the 50:50 sharing formula of the proceeds from the disputed oil well in Akiri and Mbede communities.
“This young man (Emeka Ihedioha), just within four/five months he became a governor, went to see Mr. President. He wrote to Mr. President that Rivers State owed Imo State N15 Billion and, therefore, they should take the money from Rivers State, that the oil wells we are sharing on the 50:50 formulas amicably belong to them.
“This is someone Rivers people, not Rivers State government, supported and spent money on. I’ve never seen a betrayal like this in my life that the former governor Emeka Ihedioha displayed.
“Rivers people who helped him had sleepless nights to make him the governor of Imo State. We did everything we could do, thinking that we supported a friend. All we got was a stab at the back.”
Governor Wike informed that eventually, at the behest of President Muhammad Buhari, the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari wrote a letter to the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC). The letter, he said, directed for the deduction of N15 Billion Naira from Rivers State and the handover of the disputed oil wells to Imo State as requested by Emeka Ihedioha.
“But because of the sharp and very focused and honest Commissioner of Finance that we have in Rivers State, the letter bearing the instruction to take N15 billion from us and the oil wells be taken away from us, was intercepted.
“We rushed to the Federal High Court to contest that Mr. President has no power to direct you to do this. The court agreed that Mr. President has no power to do this. If there is anybody to do this, it is the National Boundary Commission.
“Unfortunately, the most corrupt national agency is the National Boundary Commission. Corruption is personified in NBC.
“If Mr. President is fighting corruption, he should leave innocent individuals and go to these agencies where corruption is personified. I’ve never seen people who believe anything they do must be for money.
“They will abandon their function and create problems between States when there are not supposed to be problems. They will not do the right work so that the States can live in harmony,” Wike explained.
Governor Wike said the legal battle was pursued to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, with archival documents submitted with sound legal presentations from the 21 Senior Advocate of Nigeria on the Rivers legal team.
Eventually, Governor Wike pointed out that there was a final determination of the owner of the oil wells and where they are situated, in favour of Rivers State, despite the protesters Governor Hope Uzodima sponsored to discredit the judges.
He expressed delight over the legal victory secured and reclaiming Rivers assets to further provide needed financial resources to his successor to develop the state.
“But we had hope in God. If God says it is for Rivers, there is nothing anybody can do about it. But I wondered why it would be in my time that Rivers’ assets would be taken away. Politicians will come and say it was in his time that Rivers State lost these oil wells.
“And so you may God how in my mind I am over happy, that I am leaving and not leaving liability behind for the state and my successor.”
Governor Wike said the Government of Rivers State is open to dialogue with elders of Imo State on the issue of the oil wells, which the apex court had declared belongs to the State.
In his sermon, the Bishop of Niger Delta North in the Anglican Province of Niger Delta, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Budu Ihunwo, thanked God for granting Rivers State victory at the Supreme Court.
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