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Rivers premier slammed for "incitement"

10 January 2014, 07:59Augustine Osayande

Abuja - Bayelsa State government has accused Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Ameachi, of using propaganda to incite people against the Federal Government.

This follows the furore over the Soku oil fields that dominated the local political scene this week.

“Following repeated and deliberate propaganda by the Governor of Rivers State against the Federal Government, the Government and good people of Bayelsa State, aimed at distorting historic and legal facts and designed to incite the people of Rivers State against their brothers in Bayelsa, it has become necessary for us to again reiterate some salient facts about the unfortunate boundary dispute between the people of Nembe and Kalabari clans both of the Ijaw Nation, which dispute started in the 1920s,” Daniel Iworiso Markson, Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa state government, stated.

“Ordinarily, further response to the recent media statements by the Governor of Rivers State on the Oluasiri (Soku) oil wells/Oil Field would not have been necessary since the Bayelsa State Government has made clear its position on the issues in previous media publications including the Nation Newspaper of Monday 5th November 2012. But in this season of absurd politicking and orchestration of lies as the truth, the Bayelsa State Government deems it fit to once again reiterate the valid points of the matter for due education and understanding of our Ijaw people in particular and the Nigerian public in general.” Markson said the statement of the Rivers State Governor on the issue was intended to create crisis among the Ijaw people in Rivers and Bayelsa States and attract sympathy without regard to the security implications and the integrity of national institutions.

“Contrary to what the Rivers State Governor is doing by way of promoting hatred and inciting violence, the Bayelsa State Governor on his part has been pursuing a peaceful and amicable resolution of the matter using existing constitutional channels. Now, the hard facts about Oluasiri (Soku) Oil Wells/ Field1. With the creation of Bayelsa State in 1996, the Interstate boundary demarcation issues between Bayelsa and Rivers states resurfaced inevitably with both parties making claims and counter claims to appropriate agencies. The Federal Government at the time also became so inundated with claims from other States with similar boundary issues.”

He said the Federal Government in October 2000 set up a Special Presidential Committee on Disputed Oil Wells, to verify the claims and counter claims of disputed oil wells and oil fields in all the affected States.

“The composition of the said committee had representatives of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Nigerian Navy (NN), National Boundary Commission (NBC), Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGOF), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other notable public figures drawn from all works of life.”

He added, “We therefore urge all Nigerians particularly the good people of Rivers State to discountenance the frivolous and baseless allegations contained in the press interview by the Rivers State Governor as they are calculated to mislead the entire country and instigate crises amongst the Ijaw brothers in Kalabari and Nembe communities.”

– CAJ News


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