Governor Peter Obi
By Charles Onyekamuo
Anambra State Government Friday faulted the claims being made by the Ibaji Community of Kogi State and the Igga community of Enugu State to the effect that the oil wells in OPL 915 allotted to Orient Petroleum Resources Plc. and inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan, August 30 are in their soils as baffling, saying that only the National Boundary Commission (NBC) would do justice to the issue.
The State’s Deputy Governor, Mr. Emeka Sibeudu in an interview with THISDAY in Awka yesterday said the state had its own claims which it had laid before the NBC and awaiting the outcome of the commission’s findings on the claims and counter claims by the neighbouring states who he said he expected to keep cool in anticipation of the commission’s unbiased report instead of “ranting” over false claims.
The Deputy Governor who is also the chairman of the state’s Boundary Committee said that boundary issues are sensitive, a reason he pointed out the to calm down in the obvious face of provocation so that they don’t escalate; but insisted that the oil wells are in Anambra soil which had not been faulted by history.
“The National Boundary Commission is working on Anambra, Kogi and Enugu boundaries and have not come out with anything at all. You have the right to claim anything even without facts. But as far as I know and as chairman of Anambra State Boundary committee OPR is operating within the confines of Anambra soil.
“I had expected that they await the outcome of the commission and allow the status quo to remain”, he said.
He said that Shell Petroleum had in 1972 struck oil in large commercial quantities in Aguleri-Out, Oroma Etiti, Nzam and other communities in Anambra East Council area of the state and by 2004, the representative of the area in the House of Representatives, Hon. Ralph Okeke had moved a motion seeking the declaration of Anambra State, an oil producing state and queried, where were they then?
He said that Kogi and Enugu states just waited for Anambra state to do the seismic studies, exploration and exploitation and invested over N4 billion and now woke from their slumber to say the oil wells in Anambra East are in their soils.