Oil: Jonathan denies involvement in Rivers, Bayelsa dispute



President Goodluck Jonathan has denied insinuations in the media that he was behind the boundary disputes between the Rivers and Bayelsa states, and allegedly supporting plans to “cede five Rivers state oil communities to Bayelsa”.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President described the allegations as irresponsible and most unfortunate, especially coming from people believed to be respectable in the society. He said contrary to insinuations, the  statutory federal agencies alleged to be used by his administration to pursue this unholy allegations, do not take orders from the President; they are independent bodies.

President Jonathan said the dispute predates his administration, and had been a matter for consideration by the National Boundary Commission, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and other relevant agencies, long before now. He said that the matter had never at any time been brought before either him nor the Vice President. The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication in some newspapers yesterday about a protest staged by the Kalabari National Forum and some monarchs in Abuja, in which the so-called protesters accused President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of interfering in a boundary dispute between Rivers and Bayelsa states.

The protesters alleged directly and through innuendoes that there are plans to cede five Rivers State oil communities to Bayelsa with the connivance of various Federal Government agencies under the watchful eyes and supervision of his Excellency, Mr. President whose home state, most ingloriously, is the direct beneficiary. We consider these allegations irresponsible and most unfortunate considering the status of the persons who reportedly championed the protest.

The statutory agencies being referred to by the protesters do not take orders from the President; they are independent bodies. Besides, there are laid down procedures for resolving inter-state boundary disputes. “In this particular case, the dispute between Rivers and Bayelsa states predates the Jonathan administration, and has been a matter for consideration by the National Boundary Commission, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and other relevant agencies, long before now.

The matter has never at any time been brought before either the President or the Vice President. The school-boy style protest is an attempt at cheap blackmail. We find the motive deplorable. It is all the more surprising that a man of Alabo Graham-Douglas’s stature, a former minister, who ought to know what is right, will team up with a group intent on causing disaffection between the President and his Ijaw kinsmen.

“We advise the Kalabari National Forum, its members and hidden sponsors, to avoid the temptation to instigate conflict between the Nembe and Kalabari people of Rivers and Bayelsa states, who are both of the same Ijaw stock. The statutory agencies assigned the responsibility of resolving boundary disputes should be allowed to do their work.

President Jonathan appeals to the good people of Rivers and Bayelsa to refuse to be dragged into the politics of conflict being orchestrated by individuals pursuing a hidden agenda. The Federal Government, under President Jonathan’s watchful eyes and supervision, remains committed to the promotion of fairness and justice in the interest of all parties concerned”. •Bayelsa Gov. Dickson’s reaction on page 12.

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  1. Jonathan cannot be trusted in this matter, he also denied his involvement in Silva’s problem in his home state Bayelsa but in the end everybody knew he only played the Ostrich. If those respected elders did not see his hand they wouldn’t have taking there crying to faraway Abuja

    • Jonathan is very good at denying things. It was the same with Dickson., we now know the truth. I would also like to remind you lot that it was the same with his party’s zoning formula – he denied that too, even when he was a signatory to a document to that effect, if he really is interested in this matter, will the govt agency in charge go against him. A way will be found around it. that is how things work in Nigeria. He should remember that nothing is hidden from God. His wife was sick and got healed by God. His house in his village was submerged to window level. Isn’t all these telling him something? its about time this man changed his ways for the better. I think his luck is running out. One controversy after the other. Let him leave Rivers land alone. Does he want to start a communal clash or what? As for that Abati – I rest my case.


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  3. Rivers and Bayelsa, please my people, try and settle ur problems without delay. It is very important because, u are brothers. I don’t like seeing of hearing such news. Why should we let our focuses be distracted by things that can be easily avoided? My dear Gov. Amaechi and Dickson, please u guys should come together and resolve this. I beg u.

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  5. Enough of Ijaw and Bayelsa. Ruben Abati to want insult our sensibilities that those agencies did not take order from Mr President. Kudos to Rivers people for acting accordingly. When a bird is dancing in the road, somebody is in the bush beating the drum for it. Rivers people be vigilant.

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  7. Eboigbe Stephen on

    This is an attempt to pitch the president against his kinsmen and breed disaffection among IJAWS and nigerdeltans in general.. As Abati, said the agency should be allowed to do their job afterall rivers and Bayelsa are one.

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  9. What goes around,turns around.When they were ceding Igbo communities to rivers,there was Jubilation and some were thanking Hausa/Fulani for helping them deal with the Igbos.Rivers took Abia state oil block for years through OBJ and it took the intervention of Yaradua to address such injustice.I like the way Nigeria is moving because every body must meet their own injustice one day and they should have the strength and courage to deal with it because we can never share collective interest in this country. However,people should leave Jonathan alone because this is not the first time.

  10. It is Governor Dickson that is heating the whole thing up. He goes every now and then to gossip to the president on nothing just to answer good boy in the presidents book.


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