5 November 2012

Nigeria: Bayelsa, Rivers Oil Well Dispute Deepens

Photo: This Day
Governor Rotimi Amaechi

The row between Rivers and Bayelsa states over oil wells has deepened despite efforts by President Goodluck Jonathan to broker peace between the two states.Jonathan had last week met with the feuding parties in Abuja to resolve the dispute.

But shortly after meeting with the president, Rivers State government issued a statement Friday explaining why the position of the Bayelsa State government cannot be upheld while the Bayelsa State government yesterday responded, insisting that the Soku oil wells belong to it.

Rivers had in a statement by the information commissioner Ibim Semenitari challenged the claim of ownership by Bayelsa, saying areas were the wells were located belongs to the Kalabaris in Rivers State.

It said it was due to earlier disputes on the matter that revenues from the disputed Soku wells were originally fixed in an escrow account while awaiting the resolution of the boundary dispute between the two states.

The Rivers State government also questioned the reliance by Bayelsa on the administrative map by the National Boundary Commission, saying the agency itself has admitted errors in the map.

A statement by the Bayelsa State information commissioner Deacon Markson Fefegha frowned at the continuous insistence by the Rivers State government that the fields are located within its boundary while maintaining that Jonathan has nothing to do with the matter.

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