By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”The Cross River State government has refuted claims that the 76 oil wells that had been given to neighbouring Akwa Ibom states have been reclaimed by it.
A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, said no such thing has occoured.
According to the statement, â€œOur attention has been drawn to a story with the above headline which was published by the Tribune Newspapers of Wednesday 12 May 2010, purporting that the government and people of Cross River State were in joyous mood as a result of the recent return of the 76 oil wells that were previously ceded to Akwa Ibom State.
â€œWhile the return of oil wells to Cross River State would have been a cause for jubilation, we wish to state categorically that there has been no such action, neither was there any jubilation of any sort in the State.
â€œThe paperâ€™s claim that His Excellency the Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, broke the cheering news to members of the state Executive Council over the weekend at the last EXCO meeting is pure falsehood. In the first place, the Cross River State Executive Council never sits on weekends, but on Wednesdays. Secondly, during that last EXCO meeting, His Excellency the Governor was in Abuja attending to some pressing national issues. The EXCO was rather presided over by the Deputy Governor who is the Vice Chairman, and the issue never came up before the EXCO.
â€œThe government and people of Cross River State are however disposed to a quick political resolution of the matter.
â€œIt is rather unfortunate that a newspaper like Tribune would go to press with such false and misleading information, without recourse to established channels of verification.
â€œThe current situation is that the revenue for derivation from these 76 oil wells is still being paid to Akwa Ibom State,â€ he added.