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We’ll resist attempts to annex Rivers oil wells, Wike vows

Governor Nyesom Wike has vowed to resist alleged attempts by neighbours to annex oil wells belonging to Rivers State.

He said it was disingenuous for anyone to claim that his defence of the Soku oilfields was an anti-Ijaw agenda.

The governor, who spoke while addressing the quarterly meeting of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt yesterday, stated that his decision to resist the ‘annexation’ of oilfields in the state was in the interest of Rivers people.

He said: “I will continue to protect the assets of Rivers State. My goal is to protect the interest of Rivers State and her people. We are defending Rivers’ ownership of Soku oil wells. They are situated in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State. I am saying no, we will not allow a neighbouring state to take over what belongs to our people.”

Chairman of the monarchs’ council and the Amayanabo of Opobo, King Douglas Dandeson Jaja, lauded the state government for the acquisition of 45 per cent of Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC) stake in OML 11.

He noted that the judicial settlement of the Soku oilfields dispute would bring peace to the area.

Similarly, the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Bob-Manuel commended his colleagues for supporting Wike in his quest to develop the state.

Besides, the governor has stood by his remarks that Rivers is a Christian State, insisting that he remains undaunted by intimidation or negative propaganda.

He promised that his administration would continue to invest heavily in security to safeguard lives and property.

He spoke during the yearly thanksgiving service of the Apara Committee of Friends at St. Silas Anglican Church, Eneka in Obio-Akpor Local Council of the state.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Chukwuemeka Woke, the governor explained that God had continued to “show compassion on the state despite the machinations of the wicked.”

According to him, it is on this basis that he was not bothered by the negative propaganda associated with his declaration of Rivers as a Christian state.

He said: “Let me say I will not change my decision no matter the level of intimidation, criticism about my declaration that Rivers is a Christian state. The reason is very simple. As a son and governor of Rivers, I have the right and the authority to declare that I have seen God’s goodness, mercy, and compassion.

“So, there are no alternatives to the declaration. That is why I will continue to worship God and declare Rivers a Christian state.”

Restating his commitment to security through robust investments, Wike noted: “You will agree with me that the level of insecurity has reduced to the minimum level, even in this festive period. The God Almighty has given us peace and we will continue to live in peace.”

He appealed to residents of Port Harcourt, particularly those living in areas where the state government is constructing three flyover bridges, to bear with his administration as the “hardship would be over in the next 16 months when the bridges are expected to be completed and ready for use.”

“I want to appeal to us that whatever inconveniences that we are suffering is for a temporal moment. In the next 16 months, all the inconveniences you are passing through will be a thing of the past” the governor added.

In a sermon, chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Venerable Fyneface Akah, said the new year was usually a time to thank God for his blessings.

Highpoint of the event was the presentation of an award to the governor.

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