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Why I Fell Out With Ihedioha – Wike

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Why I Fell Out With Ihedioha – Wike

Why I Fell Out With Ihedioha – Wike
May 09
14:19 2022

For a couple of years, not a few people have wondered why the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and the former Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha fell out.

Until they did, both men, of the same Political Party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were close friends. But no longer.

Their relationship has so soured that Ihedioha and associates in the Imo PDP,  are not rooting for the Presidential aspiration of Wike in 2023. They are, allegedly, rooting for the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, while the associates of Samdaddy Anyanwu, the National Secretary of the Party are rooting for Wike.

Ordinarily, given their relationship before, Ihedioha  would have been rooting for Wike. In 2019, both Wike and Ihedioha rooted Tambuwal.

However, those who think both men fell out over Party politics are wrong. Their disagreement had nothing to do with that. It, instead, had everything to do with the interest of their different States. Both wanted more money for their States.

It began during the short-lived tenure of Ihedioha as the Governor of Imo State when they fell out over Oil Wells located around the boundary  of both States – Akiri and Mbede oil wells.

This was revealed by Wike during a State broadcast to the people of Rivers State to celebrate their victory over Imo State on the Oil Wells at the Supreme Court.

According to Wike, the Government and people of Rivers State, gave tremendous support to Ihedioha and helped him to become Governor. But Wike said Ihedioha stabbed them at the back when he broke the gentleman agreement between the two States over the oil wells reached during the tenures of former Governors Peter Odili and Achike Udenwa to share the Oil Wells on a 50-50 basis.

He said as soon as Ihedioha became Governor, he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari claiming the Oil Wells  as belonging to Imo State.

Wike story: “Let us recall that following the disputed claims to the location and ownership of some oil wells at the Akiri and Mbede oilfields between Imo and Rivers States in 1999, the Governors, Their Excellencies, Achike Udenwa and Dr. Peter Odili respectively, worked out a political settlement and  mutually settled for a 50:50 percent beneficial sharing of the derivation proceeds accruing from these wells pending the proper demarcation of the boundaries between the two States by the National Boundary Commission (NBC).

“While the dispute lingered, nothing was done by the NBC to demarcate the boundaries of the two States and establish the proper location and title to the disputed oil wells.

“However, instead of instigating the NBC to do the right thing, Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State, shortly after assuming office, repudiated the subsisting 50:50 percent sharing formula and made provocative claims to the exclusive ownership of the entire Akiri and Mbede oil wells.

“In order to actualize this spurious claims, he stealthily wrote a letter dated 9th August 2019 to President Mohammadu Buhari and requested for the refund of the sum of N15, 000,000.00 (fifteen billion naira) from Rivers State to Imo State as backlog of accrued proceeds from the 13% derivation revenue of the said oil wells.

“Acting on Governor Ihedioha’s letter, Mr. President warranted a letter to be written to the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) through his late Chief of State, Mr. Abba Kyari, to alter the status quo against in favour of Imo State without reference to the subsisting dispute and agreement between the two States.

“Surprised by the surreptitious plots and collusive actions of the Government of Imo State and the NBC to overreach the legal interest of Rivers State in the disputed oil wells, the Rivers State Government opted to approach the Court for a just and lasting resolution.

“Not satisfied with the positive ruling of the Federal High Court, the Imo State Government appealed to the Court of Appeal and lost. We then proceeded against the Government of Imo State at the Supreme Court in a fresh suit for a final and conclusive determination of the boundary dispute between our two States.”

Wike expressed his willingness for futher discussions on the Oil Wells with Imo State  “despite the betrayals and back-stabbing by Emeka Ihedioha, who in spite of the extensive support and goodwill he received from the Government and people of Rivers State to become Governor, led the onslaught and created a wedge between two brotherly States that have been living at peace and in friendship with each other.”

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Mujeeb

Mujeeb

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