The Big Story: APC led FG reward system, Akwa Ibom 76 Oil Wells maybe ceded to Cross River [9News Nigeria Analysis]

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There should be immediate or long term reward for political loyalty or followership.
Even Jesus Christ promised his disciples eternal life after earthly tribulations when his followers asked him what would be their gains after they have left businesses, careers, families and other concerns to follow him. Watch that episode here as you read
Matthew 19:27-29 (NIV)
Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life”

Same can be said of any Governor decamping from another political party to the All Progressive Congress – APC.

Beside the fact that the sins of the Governors will be forgiven as stated by Adams Oshiomhole, the former APC National Chairman where he said precisely on January 17, 2019 “Once you join APC, all your sins are forgiven”, the party has various other compensation plans.

Show me that Governor who will rather preferred to be jailed than to walk free after his immunity has expired? The crime he has committed doesn’t matter. Even after his immunity expired, his APC membership card would be his clean bill of health against publicly known corruption cases against him. His APC membership has acquitted him and the atonement of his sins will be made manifest at the sweeping of the broom, Adams Oshiomhole assured.

“What a Party?” Nigerians keep asking. In a Facebook post where the above question was asked, one of the replies which caught my fancy said: The All Progressive Congress APC should be renamed: “Salvation Party of Nigeria – SPN

The All Progressive Congress APC other wise known by some Nigerians as “Salvation Party of Nigeria” is not known to all until you are preached to.

How would you know this if this “gospel” and his “benefits” are not preached to you?

It was preached to His Excellency David Nwaze Umahi Governor of Ebonyi State and in July 6, 2021, the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) Approved the King David University of Medical Sciences Uburu for the State.

The ownership of the University is in serious contention in the State. Ebonyi people are not really sure of who owns the University considering that the name of the University contains a part of Governor’s Umahi name.
Ebonyians say the University does not belong to Ebonyi State, it’s the Governor private estate. Majority say the newly approved institution is the FG compensation to the State Governor for his loyalty and for taking the risk to decamp from PDP to APC in the South-East where the latter is in fierce opposition.

It was preached to Hope Uzodinma, Imo State Governor and he got compensated with 43 Oil Wells extracted from Rivers State quantum of Oil Wells.
As we speak, Rivers State government has approached the Supreme Court to retrieve its Wells.

The Salvation Party evangelism also reached out to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and Ibom Deep-sea Port was approved for him.

Governor Emmanuel who was almost at the verge of moving to APC had pressures from colleagues, he reconsidered many variables and relaxed his moves. The preachers are not yet through with the Akwa Ibom State Governor.

Hitherto,the lobbyists are busy constituiting some economic hazards around him, which may cause Governor Emmanuel running to APC on his own without any compulsion from any external force. Read on.

It was preached to Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State he conceded expressly, shallowed the pill, hook, line and sinkers and the compensation bouquet awaiting him is huge. Ayade decampment to APC will have negative economic effects on Akwa Ibom State. Those effects maybe so injurious to Akwa Ibom State economy, so much that Governor Udom Emmanuel may bow to pressure and decamp to APC.

Considering regional interest and the unpopularity of APC in the South-South Governor Ben Ayade would not have decamped from the People Democratic Party- PDP to All Progressive Congress – APC.

But also considering some offers and “previlleges ” that will follow his decampment he has to throw all regional interests away and embrace the “opportunity”.

Cross River State in 2012 through a Supreme Court Judgement lost 76 of its Oil Wells to Akwa Ibom State.

The long drawn controversy over the ownership of 76 offshore Oil Wells was led to rest through a political solution brokered by President Olusegun Obasanjo through a letter dated 31rst October 2006, where the then President shared the Oil wells under contention to the two neighboring States.

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He allotted 76 Oil Wells to Akwa Ibom State and 14 Oil Wells to Cross River State.

The Cross River State Government headed to Court over Obasanjo’s political solution and lost at the Supreme Court in 2012.

Since Governor Ben Ayade came to power in 2015, he has always insisted that the 76 Oil Wells ceded to Akwa Ibom State was done in error and has always intended to recover them.

In July 2019 Governor Ben Ayade in apparent meager revenue frustration appealed to the Commander of the Joint Military Task Force, Operation Delta Safe (ODS), Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade in his office in Calabar that he needed the 76 Oils Wells ceded to Akwa Ibom back to Cross River State. He described the ceding of the Wells to Akwa Ibom State as Injustice meted on his State by the Federal Government.

Ayade further insisted that the implementation of the Supreme Court judgement that emphasized that Cross River State must continue to enjoy Stabilization Support in perpetuity for the loss of the Oil Wells has since been stopped by the Federal Government. We are tired and so we want our Oil Wells back, the Governor insisted.

The former Governor of Cross River State Senator Liyel Imoke fought for the return of the Oil Wells and lost at the Supreme and he never insisted any further.

But Ben Ayade had made the the return of 76 Oil Wells ceded to Akwa Ibom State one of his “Must’ve” dreams. He reports the loss of the wells case to the living and the dead. He cries over it everywhere and to everybody including a military officers who have no business with Oil Wells such as Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade on whose shoulder he leaned to cry on.

It’s in the course of his incessant lamentations over the loss of the 76 Oils Wells that ” his tears” caught the fancy of the APC Marketers and Lobbyists who came sympathizing with him, promised him to get those Oil Wells from Akwa Ibom State back to Cross River State, pundits say.

But Ayade and those promising him the return of the Wells seem to forget the meat of the Supreme Court judgement which said Cross River State lost the 76 Oils Wells because she lost her littoral status to Cameroon since Bakassi Peninsula is no more part of Cross River State.

In that judgement the seven justices of the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher who was about to retire at that time submitted that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) was right in attributing the oil wells to Akwa Ibom at the inter-agencies meeting.

Before delivering the lead judgment, the Court dismissed Cross River’s application, pointing out that the agreement which initially gave Cross River State rights to the 76 oil Wells was frustrated by the handing over of Bakassi to Cameroon.

The judgement held that the 13 per cent derivation revenue on the 76 oil wells between Akwa Ibom state and Cross River State must continue to be attributed to the state that has the maritime territory.

“Cross River State no longer has any maritime boundary,” the ruling said.

“Cross River State is now landlocked. The plaintiff not being a littoral state and not having a maritime boundary, the 76 oil wells, which are the subject matter of the suit, which lie offshore and within a maritime territory, cannot be attributed to it.

“The plaintiff has no maritime territory since the cessation of Bakassi Peninsula, and the Cross River estuary, which used to be part of the state prior to August 2008. The present position of the plaintiff cannot be blamed on any government agency, particularly the National Boundary Commission and the RMAFC. The two statutory bodies must perform their statutory duties based on facts and realities to compile the indices for the payment of the derivation revenues to entitled states,” the judgement submitted.

The judgement proceeded and maintained that the court could not close its eyes to the existing situation, which made Cross River to continue to enjoy the benefits and privileges of a littoral state when it was no longer one by virtue of subsequent legal changes.

What is so complex in that judgement for Ayade to understand?
The judgement was so clear, simple and had no algebra content nor puzzle complexity.

Ayade and his new party which promises him the return of the wells (we are told by Fiat) should remember that Cross River State initially queried Obasanjo’s political solution and later went to court.
So why looking for another political solution through an executive order?
Ayade should also remember that the ceding of the 76 Oil Wells to Akwa Ibom State was the ruling of the Supreme Court and not a lower court.

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But everything been equal, should Governor Udom Emmanuel looses guards and let Cross River State recover the 76 Oil Wells by whatever means due to his refusal to join APC, Akwa Ibom people will stone him for letting their source of revenue go to another State. Governor Emmanuel maybe put into intense pressure and complex political crossroad between now and the next general election due to APC earnest interest to takeover Akwa Ibom State.

Rivers State revenue is already affected. Last week 43 Oil Wells from Rivers State were ceded to Imo State on reasons yet to be well explained.

Although Governor Nyesom Wike has gone to court over the ceding of the Wells to Imo State, it’s not really certain that he may recover any.

The development of Ibom Deep Seaport may even be put on hold by the none release of the $2 Billion promised by the Federal Government for the commencement of the first phase of the project

9NEWS NIGERIA day to day monitoring of States and Federal Government governance policy thrust has deducted that funding Federal Government projects in Akwa Ibom State maybe kept in view considering the daily weeping of Cross River State Governor of meager revenue allocation from the centre.

And moreover, Cross River State is the new bride of the party that should be funished with necessary cutleries to prove to those who mocked her for the union just consummated that her new spouse can carter for all she needs.

Ben Ayade regular Lamentations that Akwa Ibom is taken care of than Cross River State through her jumbo monthly allocation, while CR receives a meager allocation maybe taken into consideration this time around and also considering that CR is now the only APC State in the South-South some FG projects in Akwa Ibom State maybe put on hold meanwhile until Governor Udom Emmanuel sees the need to jump into the APC wagon.

While the Federal Government approved Ibom Deep Seaport for Akwa Ibom State, she also approved another Seaport for Cross River State, a contiguous State sharing land borders with each other. Bakassi Deep Seaport has been approved by the FG, Governor Ben Ayade disclosed this to Newsmen on the 5th of July 2021 when the Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Boss Mustapha visited him for an official duty in Calabar.

Two Deep Seaports in close proximity approved by the Federal Government within a year, don’t you see that there’s politics underneath? Don’t you think one will be made functional and the other rendered redundant?
9NEWS NIGERIA editorial team asked each other these and found questionable and irrational economic senses behind it and that ignited this analysis.

Certainly Ibom Deep Seaport maybe victim of neglect because of Governor Emmanuel’s refusal to Join the ruling party.
Thus the approval of Bakassi Deep Seaport which construction shall start with the annexure of a 274KM Superhighway which starts from the said Bakassi Deep Seaport to the the North seems much more advantageous for the North who needs such tunnel to evacuate its huge agricultural produce.

See below excerpt of the SGF and Ayade meeting in Calabar on July 5, 2021:

“One of the key things I discussed with the SGF was the Superhighway. The Superhighway is a policy thrust to take Atlantic Ocean closer to Northern Nigeria. Northern Nigeria is blessed with so much solid minerals. Crude oil is a thing of the past because by 2030, there might be an end to fossil fuel driven cars and petrol may equally come to an end. The world is shifting towards solid minerals. You must have access to the Atlantic Ocean to enable you the opportunity to do export in order to have the full benefit of the solid minerals deposit in the North. The Superhighway creates that catalytic harmony that allows the North to enjoy the privilege of their natural deposit, with unhindered access to the Deep Seaport that allows them to export.”

“Bakassi Deep Seaport had been approved by the Federal Government as the first Agro-Industrial Port in Nigeria, I urged the Federal Government to support the project while I also solicit the buy-in of Northern Nigeria, as the export processing port, with a corresponding Superhighway. The project is not just a Cross River project but also a project that would benefit the North and expand frontiers of business and economic growth”.

“The Superhighway starts from the Bakassi Deep Seaport and ends in Northern Nigeria. There is huge coal deposit in North-central that is unharvested. South Africa today is having problem of power because their coal mines have gone too deep and keep collapsing. All their power plants are based on coal. So, they want to come to Nigeria and export coal. They need the coal deposit which we have in excess in the North. Unfortunately, you can’t harvest the coal when you don’t have access to a maritime domain or corridor. Definitely, the superhighway and the Deep Seaport is the way to go”, Ayade submitted

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The SGF/Ayade meeting on Bakassi Deep Seaport and the annexure of a Superhighway to it to link Northern Nigeria to South-South through Cross River State is sympathy shown to Ayade for joining the All Progressive Congress – APC and this may have direct negative effects on Ibom Deep Seaport recently approved for Akwa Ibom State.

Bakassi Deep Seaport in Cross River State, analysts say is an unnecessary duplication of Seaports in close proximity in the estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, while Ibom Deep Seaport application has long been waiting for approval on the desk of the Federal Government since President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, so why approving Bakassi Deep Seaport which is at an arm-length nautical miles?

If Bakassi Deep Seaport will be constructed to enable South Africa to access Nigeria by sea to buy coal in Northern Nigeria for their factories and power plants as Ayade claims the SGF said the question from rational Nigerians is: “can’t South Africa still access coal deposits in Northern Nigeria through Ibom Deep Seaport?”

While others blame Ayade on being fun of copying Governor Udom Emmanuel’s governance policies, analysts say Ayade push to have Bakassi Deep Seaport funded by the FG before Ibom Deep Seaport is because Governor Emmanuel mocked him in Calabar during a recent PDP stakeholders meeting where Udom Emmanuel is quoted to have said: “Cally Air, the Cross River State Government Airline initiated by Ben Ayade is only flying on the social media, while Akwa Ibom State Airline Ibom Air has become the pride of Nigeria and is seen in all airports in the country”.
Ayade is said to have been very embarrassed by Emmanuel’s remarks, and sources from his office told 9NEWS NIGERIA that his reply to Akwa Ibom State Governor without confronting him was: “Yes Akwa Ibom State Government could have a large fleet of Aircrafts anyhow they want it because they receive more allocations than Cross River State”

Relying on the APC loyalty compensation plan, Ayade is not the only Governor in the South whose State topography is impeding its resources but want to take advantage of their membership to undo their neighboring States.

In this month of July 2021, before one could say Jack Robinson, 43 Oil Wells were taken from Rivers State and annexed to Imo State.

And while Imo State people were still rejoicing for the substitution of the former Governor Emeka Ihedioha of PDP to Hope Uzodinma of APC through which such magic was performed, Rivers State did not allowed the dust to settle and has gone to Supreme Court to restrain the Attorney General of the Federation, the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission – RMAFC and other agencies to stop Imo State from harvesting any revenue from 17 Oil Wells out of 43.

Imo State Government which started boasting for suddenly becoming the 4th oil producing State in Nigeria due to the just acquired 43 Oil Wells was restrained of that status on Wednesday 14th July 2021 through an injunction of the Supreme Court.

Akwa Ibom State maybe next victim of Oil Wells recovery through executive order any time soon. Moreso that Ben Ayade has just been formally received and documented as full fledged member of All Progressive Congress – APC

But on like other States where the Governor lords over everybody and other States where the Governors runs their States only with their brothers and family members, Akwa Ibom State is one, whose Governors in all administrations believe in wide consultations of their Statesmen and involvement of indigenous technocrats in critical issues threatening the government and its people.
Thus since the information of Cross River’s next attempt to recover “its 76 Oil Wells” from Akwa Ibom State filtered into our newsroom, 9NEWS NIGERIA foresees that, the battle may not be a “Cary go” in Akwa Ibom State if the Governor as usual involves the like of Obong Victor Attah former Governor of Akwa Ibom State who is very knowledgeable in oceanography and boundering delineation, Amb. Assam Assam, former Attorney General of the State and former Ambassador of Nigeria in Russia who is always home-concerned an unbiased on all issues concerning the State, and other Statesmen too many to reel out here.

*Analysis collated from 9News Nigeria Editorial Team, South-South Headed by Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong

About Samuel Abasiekong 599 Articles
Samuel Abasiekong, Senior Journalist, Newspaper Publisher, Author of many literature text books, French-English, English-French languages Translator and Interpreter, Multi-sectoral Counsellor & Consultant, National Convener of National Public Interest Group - NPIG, Secretary Uyo Division of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, News Editor & Reporter @ 9News Nigeria www.9newsng.com www.facebook.com/9NewsNG

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