The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Friday took a swipe at his Imo State counterpart, Hope Uzodinma, and his predecessor, Emeka Ihedioha, for attempting to take over oil wells belonging to Rivers State without engaging the Rivers State Government.
Wike was addressing selected leaders of Rivers State at Government House, Port Harcourt after the Supreme Court delivered a judgment that restored to the state 17 oil wells that the Federal Government has reallotted to Imo State.
Wike said though Uzodinma did not initiate the process of taking the oil wells from Rivers State, he had sustained the matter when he could have engaged Rivers State for a possible political solution of the dispute.
The action of the Imo State governor, Wike said was rather unexpected of a man who became governor through the instrumentality of the judiciary by not abiding by a lower court decision that granted the oil wells to Rivers State.
The Rivers State governor said Ihedioha demonstrated betrayal and backstabbing when he moved to take away the oil wells through an action he initiated with the National Boundaries Commission, NBC, in 2019 despite the support he had enjoyed from the government of Rivers State during his election trials.
He said Ihedioha had instigated the National Boundaries Commission NBC to write to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission to share the revenue from the disputed oil fields on a 50/50 basis between Imo and Rivers States.
In addition, he said Ihedioha had demanded that Imo be refunded N15 billion arrears of revenue from the disputed oil wells and alter the status quo to favour Imo State with respect to revenue from the disputed oil wells.
Wike also lambasted the NBC for acceding to the request of Imo State Government without engaging Rivers State Government and described the commission as one of the most corrupt Federal Government agencies.
The disputed oil wells are in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State. But Wike said the Rivers State Government was open to further discussions with Imo State Government on the matter.
Impressed by the brilliance of the team of lawyers led by Joseph Daudu that represented Rivers State and in the case, Wike conferred on them the honours award of Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State.