By George Onah & Festus Ahon
Port Harcourtâ€”Â Following the controversy trailing the planned relocation of the Petroleum University from Effurun to Kaduna, the president of the Global Peace and Relief Initiative, Prophet Jones Erue, has appealed to President Musa Yarâ€™Adua to immediately relieve the Minister of Petroleum, Dr.Rilwani Lukman, of his duties.
This comes as the Special Adviser to Delta State governor on Special Duties, Alhaji Auwalu Tukur, commended the South-South governors for rising up in unity against the downgrading of the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Effurun by the Federal Government.
Erue, who heads a non governmental organization based in Port Harcourt , Rivers State, said the action had become necessary because â€œLukman has nothing to offer in the petroleum industry but breeding bad blood and controversyâ€.
Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday, Erue said it wasÂ most annoying that at this time when peace measures in the Niger Delta were being pursued, the Federal gGovernment, through its secret kitchen cabinet, was adding pepper to an already festering open injury.
â€œHow else would one understand the decision of the Federal Executive Council to reverse an over-three-years decision up-grading the Petroleum Training Institute to a degree awarding school than to say that it is a slap on the faces of the people of the Niger Delta?
“This decision to relocate the Petroleum University, Effurun to Kaduna is unacceptable to all well meaning people of the South South”. It cannot work and it will not work.
He urged President Yarâ€™Adua to be on the side of peace, equity and justice by reversing the decision as well as relieving Lukman of his appointment.
Meanwhile, speaking to newsmen yesterday, Tukur said the decision of the federal government to downgrade the PTI, Effurun and upgrade the Petroleum College, Kaduna, was not in the interest of the Nigeria project.
According to him, it is unhealthy for the government to ever thought of relocating the University of Petroleum Technology from Effurun to Kaduna and described the move as against the wishes and aspiration of the Niger Delta on which land oil exploration is being carried out.
While urging the federal government to rescind its decision on the PTI, Effurun, Tukur commended the people of the region for their peaceful agitation for the government to reverse its decision on the downgrading of the institution.
Tukur enjoined President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua to take more practical steps to address the problems of the region.