Oil wells dispute: Rivers fighting lost battle –Bayelsa

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The Bayelsa State Government has called the neighboring Rivers State to stop heating the polity over Oluasiri oil well/oil field, which had generated tension between the two states in recent time.

In a press statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Bayelsa State, Deacon Markson Fefegha, the state maintained the oil oils/field belongs to it and not Rivers.

Fefegha said he was compelled to issue a press statement in response to an earlier press statement issued by the Rivers State Government, which in his view was intended to cause disaffection between Ijaws in the two states.

He urged the Rivers State Governor, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, and his appointees to refrain from making inciting and inflammatory remarks capable of triggering off inter-communal crisis among the people, pointing out that the Bayelsa State Government had already restrained the Nembe people from responding to the threats and drums of war by the Kalabari people.

According to him, the 11th edition of the administrative map of Nigeria, further confirms the fact that River San Bartholomew is the boundary between Nembe of Bayelsa State and new Calabar (Kalabari) of Rivers State, which has metamorphosed into the boundary between the two states.

Besides, the Information Commissioner said there was presently no pending litigation over the Oluasiri oil wells/oil field between Rivers and Bayelsa States after the Supreme Court struck out the suit by the Rivers State Government challenging Bayelsa State’s ownership of Oluasiri oil wells/oilfield.

The statement reads in part: “The hard facts about Oluasiri/Soku Oil Wells/Oil Field are as follows:

“1. The Rivers State Government had previously filed two suits against the Bayelsa State Government at the Federal High Court and the Supreme Court respectively in other to assert its purported ownership over the said oil wells/ oil field and woefully failed as the said suits were all struck–-out by the courts.

“|2. Soku is a village in Rivers State while the oil wells/ oil field and the flow station are located in the Oluasiri Clan in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The name Soku oil wells/oil field was wrongly given by Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd (SPDC) since Soku village was their operational base at that time. This is not peculiar to Soku. For example, the Idu oil wells/oil field is named after a town in Ekpeye land in Ahoada East LGA of Rivers state while the oil field is actually located in Biseni land of Bayelsa State. Similarly, the Omoku west oil field is in Biseni land of Bayelsa State but Omoku is a town in Rivers State.

“3. The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in its report on the Familiarization/Verification visit to oil producing states, volume 1, Main Report, August 2006 in Chapter 3, page 30 also acknowledged the above anormaly when it stated as follows: The Bayelsa/Imo/Abia State Governments complained that the naming of oil fields was often done arbitrarily without any regard to the culture and particular environment of the people where the wells or fields are located. This has given rise to wrong attribution by relevant agencies.

“4. Incidentally, Soku village in Rivers State is about 10 km, as the crow flies, from the flow station while the Oluasiri/ Soku oil wells/ field is surrounded by various Oluasiri villages of Nembe LGA in Bayelsa State.

“5. The Special Presidential Committee on verification of oil wells in volume one of its report on disputed oil wells of December 2000 (P; 25/26) after a painstaking field verification process and hearing from both states stated and recommended as follows: ‘‘4;5.6 Soku Oil Field The team relied on the legal notice captioned “The Eastern Region Local Government Law, 1955 E.R. NO 26 of 1955. Instrument Establishing the Nembe District Council” tendered by Bayelsa State on Pages 40-41 of its submission.

“It should be noted that while the Kalabaris of Rivers State call the area Soku, the Nembe people of Bayelsa State call it Oluasiri which is one of the councils mentioned in paragraph 5 of the above mentioned instrument…In the light of the above, it is recommended that the production from Soku Oil Field be attributed to Bayelsa State. It is pertinent to note that the 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria has not been set aside by the National Boundary Commission or any Court of law. Furthermore since the creation of Bayelsa State it is the 11th edition of the administration map of Nigeria that defines the boundary between the two states.

“Therefore The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) was perfectly right in attributing and paying the revenue accruing from the said oil wells/ oil field to Bayelsa State. We therefore urge all Nigerians to discountenance the frivolous and baseless allegations contained in the press release by the Rivers State Government as they are calculated to mislead the entire Country and instigate crises amongst the Ijaw brothers in Kalabari and Nembe communities. Inspite of this provocation, the Bayelsa State Government will remain focused and determined to ensure a peaceful resolution of the issue.”

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26 Comments

  1. Governor of Bayelsa. Ask your permanent secretary for ‘special duties’ based in Abuja to step in and negotiate for you.

  2. Ijaw nation must not be distracted by such frivolous feuds. The facts speak for them selves. Let the judiciary settle the matter.

  3. Na wao,dis oil palaver,Rivers vs.cross River,Rivers vs Bayelsa,Anambra v.Enugu nd Kogi,Akwaibom vs cross River,God pls may u dry dis Oil.may u ans our prayer Amen.

  4. THE WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS
    AS YOU MAY HAVE KNOWN, I AM FROM RIVERS STATE AND MARRIED AN IGBO WOMAN FROM UMUAHIA. THE ATTITUDE OF MY WIFE AND MY INLAWS TELL ME A LOT OF STORIES ABOUT THE IGBOS. I CAN CONFIRM THAT GOD IS WITH THE IGBOS. MY WIFE AND MY INLAWS ARE FANTASTIC PEOPLE. I HAVE 8 CHILDREN , FOUR BOYS AND FOUR GIRLS FROM MY DEAR WIFE. THEY ARE THE PRIDE OF MY COMMUNITY TODAY. MY SECOND WIFE IS FROM IS FROM AKURE AND SHE HAS 3 CHILDREN FOR ME. SHE ALWAYS COMMENDS THE IGBOS. SHE IS STILL WITH ME AND ALL OF US LIVE IN HARMONY TOGETHER.
    YORUBAS LISTEN. IT IS US NON-IGBOS THAT DID WRONG TO THE IGBOS DURING THE CIVIL WAR. THIS WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE LIES GOWON AND HIS BROTHERS TOLD US IN THE RIVERS STATE AT THAT TIME. THEY TOLD US THAT IF WE LEAVE THE PROPERTY OF THE IGBOS, WE WOULD BE THE GREATEST LOSERS. CEAZE THEIR PROPERTY AND THEY WILL NOT HAVE MEANS TO SURVIVE AND YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM THAT. THEY TOLD US THAT THE IGBOS ARE BAD AND WOULD BUILD ALL OVER THE STATE AND OUR CHILDREN WILL HAVE NO PLACE TO BUILD IN FUTURE. WE BELIVED THEM AND SEAZED THEIR PROPERTY. WE SACKED THEM FROM OUR STATE. THEY WENT TO THEIR STATE, SOUTH/EASTEN STATE. WE THOUGHT THEY WERE DYING. THEY SURVIVED MORE THAN US WHO WERE DECEIVED BY AND AWOLOWO. PLEASE DO NOT BE ANNOYED BECAUSE I MENTION AWOLOWO HERE. WE NIGERIANS OWE APOLOGY TO THE IGBOS BECAUSE WE DID THEM WRONG BY THE WAY WE TREATED THEM DURING THE WAR. I DO NOT KNOW HOW YOU WILL FEEL IF THE BUILDINGS YOU IN ONITSHA , OWERRI, ENUGU WERE TO BE SEAZED BY THESE STATES ESPECIALLY IF ANOTHER PERSON FROM ANOTHER STATE WERE TO INSTIGATE THAT SEISURE. IF YOU ARE FROM LAGOS , AND HAD BUILDINGS IN IBADAN, AKURE, ONDO OSHOGBO WERE TO BE SEIZED BY AN INSTIGATION FROM SOMEBODY FROM THE NORTH. YOU ARE FROM THE WESTERN REGION AS THE IGBOS WERE FROM THE EASTERN REGION. WE WERE THE SAME REGION UNTIL GOVWON DECEIVED US TO DO WHAT WE DID.
    HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU HAD £2,000,000, IN YOUR ACCOUNT AND SOMEBODY CAME AND SAID YOU HAVE RIGHT TO ONLY £20? THINK ABOUT IT. SURELY YOU WILL FEEL VERY BAD. DURING AND AFTER THE WAR ONE OF OUR BROTHERS, A WRITER WOULD NOT LET IGBOS TO REST. HE PAID FOR IT. YOU CANNOT SLAP A BABY AND AT THE SAME TIME TELL HIM NOT TO CRY. I AN NOW 84 YEARS OLD AND WHAT I SAY IS TRUE BECAUSE I WAS AROUND WHEN MEETINGS WERE HELD TO SEE WHAT TO DO WITH THE IGBOS. I DID NOT KNOW THE IMPLICATIONS UNTILL SOME FEW YEARS LATER. WE THOUGHT WE WOULD BE BETTER THAN THE IGBOS. WERE NOT.
    MY DEAR PEOPLE FROM YORUBA LAND, CHINUA ACHEBES WRITE-UP DID NOTN INSULT THE YORUBAS. HE TALKED ABOUTG ONE PERSON LATE CHIEF AWOWLO. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN IT AS IF ACHEBE INSULTED THE YORUBA RACE. YOU ARE WRONG. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU SAY AND WRITE. THE HOUSAS ARE LAUGHING AT US HERE IN THE SOUTH IF YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT. THE OTHER DAY A FRIEND OF MINE TOOK US TO HOTEL PRESIDENTIAL IN PORT HARCOURT. THIS WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS CAME UP. ONE ALHAJI AND HIS FRIENDS WERE ON A DIFFERENT TABLE EATING AND DRINKING. I HEARD THEM SAY THAT IF THERE IS A WAY TO MAKE THE YORUBAS AND THE IGBOS FIGHT, THAT THEY IN THE NORTH WILL BE VERY HAPPY. I WANTED TO CHALLNGE THEM BUT MY FRIEND RESTRAINED ME FROM DOING SO. THE WRITING OF ACHEBE SHOULD NOT CAUSE THIS TYPE OF ACRIMONY. MY PEOPLE SAY NOW THAT IF THE IGBOS ARE ELIMINATED, IT WILL BE VERY EASY FOR THE NORTH TO OVER RUN THE SOUTH TO FULFILL WHAT AHMADU BELLOW SAID. THAT PUSHING THE SOUTH INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. YORUBA PEOPLE, PLEASE STOP THIS WAR.
    TO THE IGBOS
    YOU SUFFERED HUMILIATION AT THE INSTANT OF THE NORTHERNERS. YOU DID NOT DIE RATHER YOU CAME UP STRONGER THAN YOU WERE. I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO FORGIVE AND FORGETWHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST. LOOK AQT THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS. THEY SUFFERED AND NOW SEE HOW STRONG THEY ARE. MY FATHER USED TO TELL ME THAT IGBOS HAVE JEWS ORIGIN. MY SON WHO WENT TO ISRAEL LAST MONTH TOLD ME THAT SOME NAMES THERE ARE LIKE IGBO NAMES. A BOOK I READ SOME FOUR YEARS AGO SAID THAT THE IGBOS HAD THEIR ORIGIN IN THE HEBREW. THEY ARE GOD’S PEOPLE. PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THIS WAR OF WORDS TOBRING SOMETHING NASTY IN THE SOUTH. THE HAUSAS ARE LAUGHING AT US IN THE SOUTH. YORUBA/IGBO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. LET US IN THE SOUTH FORGE AHEAD TOGETHER. NO MORE RANCOUR, NO LOVE LOST. LET US LIVE TOGETHER. WOLE SONYINKA, PLEASE ADVISE YOUR PEOPLE. CHINUA ACHEBE, PLEASE ADVISE YOUR PEOPLETO STOP AND FORGIVE THE INJURIES THEY SUSTAINED. GOD WILL HELP THEM.
    LONG LIVE YORUBA, LONG LIVE IGBO, LONG LIVE US IN THE RIVERS STATE. I SAY RIVERS STATE BECAUSE WE HAVE MANY TIBES HERE. SO I PREFER TO USE THE WORD RIVERS STATE.

    • Say you, Say me on

      @my voice. What is your point exactly? All your postings on other subject matters have been this long story. Enough already. Its beginning to irritate.

    • first, return what was stolen from the original owners-properties and wealth and money.second, offer national apology to the great igbo nation of africa.third, conduct open census that woulf feature tribe and religion.fourth, approve hundred percent derivation.fifth, institute 70% merit in all affairs of state etc.sixth, reveal nigeria’s comprehensive history.seventh, try awolowo for war crimes and crimes against humanity.eight, we, south south(original eastern nigerians) should summon tghe courage and apologise to the igbo and the igbo should do same; for whatever wrong each did the other.

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  6. The best thing is to divide this nation,and let every region go there seprate ways,because maybe later the bayasas or revers wil start cliaming oil well in anambra and imo state, whach and see

  7. longson suomowei on

    why are people deceiving theirself with de truth becuase of selffish pouposes.dis soku matter is dated back so many years b/f MR president joined politics.Let us stop dis big brother oppressing younger brother matters and face fact.

  8. Our country is sick. Each day and each problem. Wot is wrong wit u people. This Gudluck jonathan tenure- iget as it be oooh. God abeg bring ur kingdom come

  9. @my voice,this is not yoruba vs igbo.this is an issue between rivers & bayelsa states.are you confused? let us appeal to both sides to settle the issue amicably.

  10. Tele Ikuru and the Government of Rivers State are the reasons why Rivers State lost this land. The Oluasirisi are customary tenants to Emelego and Akani in Odual LGA of Rivers state. Tele Ikuru has constantly denied these people the opportunity to be recognised by SPDC as host to the socalled ‘Soku Gas Plant and oli fields’.

    As long as Rivers State continues to present the Sokus’s as the owners of those fields then that battle is a lost battle. Gov Chubuike Amachi should invite the Odual People and hear directly from them. He is being decieved by those in his Government.

  11. Tele Ikuru and the Government of Rivers State are the reasons why Rivers State lost this land. The Oluasiri are customary tenants to Emelego and Akani communities in Abua/Odual LGA of Rivers state. Tele Ikuru has constantly denied these people the opportunity to be recognised by SPDC as host to the so called ‘Soku Gas Plant and oil fields’.

    As long as Rivers State continues to present the Sokus’ as the owners of those fields then that battle is a lost battle. Gov.Chibuike Amaechi should invite the Odual People and hear directly from them. He is being decieved by those in his Government

  12. Please resolve this issue amicably or better in a law court! Enough of insinuations, public unrest, acrimony etc. Pls Government officials both in RV and BA, pls stop making comments on this matter. Resolve issue amicably or you go to court. Enough is enough.

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