Rivers State Governor, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, has expressed surprised that leaders of Kalabari kingdom have not lend support to his campaign for the return of Soku oil wells ceded to Bayelsa State by the Federal Government.
He said he had expected the rulers and leaders of the kigdom to be more forthcoming in the fight for the return of the oil wells after their protests and meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Amaechi who spoke yesterday during a courtesy call on him by a delegation of Soku community in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area at Government House, Port Harcourt said he would continue to fight for justice for his people.
According to him: “It is for you people to ask your Kalabari rulers and leaders what they are doing about the interest of the Soku people. We expected that the Kalabari people after their protest and meeting with President Jonathan, will support and join me to jealously guard their resources, but to my surprise, they seem to be backing out, turning against me in the fight to protect your (Kalabari) territory and oil wells,” he said.
“I have told President Jonathan to return the oil wells belonging to Soku and Etche. All I am saying is that, I will not support injustice, and if you follow us, you will get justice. I will continue to protect the interests, the economy interests of the State.”
He told the people that his administration was committed to providing primary healthcare centres, model primary schools and potable drinking water, and also overseas scholarship to indigenes of the community before the end of his tenure.
Amaechi said it was his responsibility to defend the resources of the state for Rivers people until he leaves office, urging the people of Soku community to mobilise others from their Kalabari ethnic group to speak out and support the State government in the fight to protect the collective wealth of the Kalabaris and the State
In his address, Chairman of Soku Council of Chief Chief Opuda Orumo commended Governor Amaechi for his courage and determination in resisting what he called the attempt by the federal government to cede their land and territory with its abundant natural resources to Bayelsa State.
Also speaking, the Secretary of Soku Community, Chief Samson Enyi, thanked the governor “for fighting the monumental injustice perpetrated on their people, their land and territory with its God-given resources”.
“Your Excellency, as a community we thank you immensely for this commitment and great sacrifice that have pitched you into incessant persecution occasioned by the erosion of your constitutional powers, privileges and rights, even the deployment of state institutions to make you have a change of mind on this vexed issues.”
“We wish to remind you, as you already know that the storm on the collective economy of Rivers State is not over yet, neither is the obvious political battle that will culminate in 2015 and beyond. We equally assure Your Excellency and your administration of our unalloyed and total support at all times irrespective of obvious threats.
“Soku community is an ancient repository of oil and gas oil exploration and exploitation started since 1958 after Oloibiri till date. Today, the community is host to three flow stations; Soku, Ekulama I and II, the Oil Ream Development project (ORD), the over N25 billion Soku Liquefied Natural Gas Plant.”
The community appealed for quick intervention of the administration on issues of sea piracy, kidnappings, rapes, vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure, fishing with chemicals and violent crimes that pervade the creeks from Abonnema to Soku and the surrounding vicinity.
They also demanded for a model primary school, direct electricity, potable drinking water, human capital development, inter-communal boundary delineation and political patronage.