By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has described as unfortunate comments by the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri over ownership of Soku Oil Well.
Diri last week flayed the deduction of the state’s revenue by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in favour of Rivers State following a high court ruling.
Wike stated this when he received a delegation of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission,RMAFC, on a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike said that disputed Soku Oil well between the two states belonged to Rivers State and urged the Commission to continue to ensure the payment of the accruing revenue to the State.
“It is unfortunate that the Bayelsa State Governor told you when you visited him that you should not pay us revenue from Soku Oil Well.
“The matter was at the Supreme Court when the National Boundary Commission admitted that they made an error in their 11th edition publication by situating Soku Oil Well in Bayelsa State.
“They were therefore, directed to correct the error in their 12th edition publication. When they also failed to effect the correction, we had to go back to the Federal High Court. The court, in its wisdom directed that all revenue accruing from Soku Oil Well should be paid to Rivers State.
“That is the position. For Bayelsa State Governor to come up to say that you should not pay us our money is unfortunate.
“If they have filed a matter at the Supreme Court, it is not an injunction to stop the implementation of the subsisting judgement”, he stated.
Diri had said the hurried implementation of the ruling was unacceptable and subjudice as the state’s appeal was pending at the Supreme Court.
He also said it was tantamount to ceding of Bayelsa territory indirectly to Rivers.
The Bayelsa governor expressed his dissatisfaction when RMAFC Federal Commissioners representing the South South region paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
Diri called on the commission to revisit its decision until the apex court gave a final verdict on the boundary dispute between both states.
He lamented that the action had significantly affected the state’s allocation for the month of September.
His words: “The action by the commission is tantamount to ceding a part of Bayelsa State to Rivers State, which can breach the peace between both sister states.
“I will still appeal to your Chairman and members of your commission to revisit this deduction from the monthly allocation of Bayelsa. I have in this regard written letters to the President, the Vice President, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Accountant General. I will follow it up by visiting their offices.
“We want to explore a peaceful method. But what the commission has done can degenerate the peace that we are having between these sister states. I don’t think that my people from Oluasiri in Nembe and all of us from Bayelsa will accept ceding any parts of our territories to anybody.
“So, what your commission has done is indirectly ceding our territories to Rivers state and that is totally unacceptable to us as a people and a state.”