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NUJ SEEKS EXPLANATION OVER A'IBOM, C'RIVER OIL WELL DISPUTE

By NBF News
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The Nigerian Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State council, has asked for proper explanation regarding the 78 oil wells that were recently ceded to the state territory with Cross River State receiving a percentage of their proceeds.

The oil wells were said to have been wrongfully credited to Cross River State during the President Olusegun Obasanjo regime, but that lost lost them when the proper nautical boundaries between the two sister states were delineated.

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, had disclosed during his appearance on the Peoples' Forum, a meet-the-people media programme packaged by the NUJ at the national level in Abuja, a few weeks ago, that the two sister-states now shared the proceeds from the 78 oil wells.

But the state NUJ, in its monthly congress in Uyo, asked both the federal and the state governments to explain why such a decision could be taken without the knowledge of the people of the state.

In a communiqué made available to Daily Sun as signed by the secretary of the NUJ communiqué drafting committee, Mr. Esin Esin, on yesterday, the union express dismay with how such a serious decision could be trivialised by the government, which only found it necessary to go on air in Abuja without bothering to brief people in the state.

'Chief Godswill Akpabio should explain how the issues resurfaced and its implications on the state; and why he never mentioned when the sharing was initiated.'The council also tell the state government to be decisive on the ban o f commercial motorcyclists in order to defuse the tension generated by the rumours of ban. It asked the state government to initiate a good transport system that would make the taxis reach all the streets of the city to ameliorate the suffering of commutters.

'To ensure that the city taxis keep within the metropolis of Uyo, a tracking mechanism should be put in place.'

The union also agreed to send a letter of congratulations to the former minister information and communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili for fighting and winning the war on media workers new salary.

But reacting to the oil well issue, the state commissioner for information and social re-orientation, Mr Aniekan Umanah, said the state was not sharing the proceeds from the oil wells equally with Cross River but that a certain percentage was paid to Cross River as compensation for the environmental hazards the state suffers from the exploration of oil near its territory.

He however said he did not know when the payment would stop as he had to be properly briefed. END