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C-River vs A-Ibom: Yar’Adua wades into oil wells rift

By Daniel Idonor
ABUJA—AFTER about a year that the Cross River State government ceded 76 of its oil wells to the neighbouring Akwa Ibom State, President Umaru Yar’Adua has waded into the matter.

He has directed that the matter be resolved without further delay.
Governor Liyel Imoke, who led a high power delegation which included the Obong of Calabar, His Eminence Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi to Aso Rock, told State House Correspondents after an audience with the President that Yar’Adua gave the directive yesterday during the meeting.

“The matter is still before Mr. President and I believe that Mr. President has directed on the resolution of the matter. This is one of the issues he assured our royal fathers about”, he said.

The governor lamented that since the ceding of the oil wells, with its attendant revenue shortfall on the state, “the challenges are significant because we have to review our budget and our projections considerably but we are very hopeful of the resolution and restoration in the very near future”.

Speaking further on the delegation’s mission to Aso Rock, Governor Imoke disclosed that “we came to have audience with Mr. President to express our appreciation with the work he is doing and to pledge our loyalty to the administration with regards to the amnesty situation in the Niger Delta and even the post amnesty situation in Cross River state”.

He stated that many people feel that there may not be militants in the State to warrant post Amnesty programme, but reminded such people that they should forget the Bakassi freedom fighters who also surrendered their arms during the disarmament.

“We want to believe that we don’t have militants in cross river but we have the Bakassi freedom fighters, is a group you are all aware of and we are thankful that they have also surrendered their arms and they did that in cross themselves before the expiration of the amnesty programme”.

The governor thanked the President “for capturing cross river state in the budget extensively”, saying that “the roads have been awarded even though the contractors have not fully mobilized and the dredging of the Calabar channel which is captured in the budget and is in the process of been awarded”.


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