Oil wells War: PDP intervenes,Seeks reconciliation mechanism as Wike,Dickson’s rift deepens
The Peoples Democratic Party has intervened as the conflict between the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his Bayelsa State counterpart, Seriake Dickson, over the ownership of Soku oil wells deepens.
Wike had, in his latest counterattack, alleged that Dickson planned to join the All Progressives Congress but was blocked by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva. He also challenged Dickson to a public debate over their performances as governors.
Wike spoke in reaction to claims by the outgoing Bayelsa governor that he (Wike) was playing up the Soku oil wells dispute as a ploy to create disunity among the Ijaw people and also to cover up the deliberate underdevelopment of Ijaw communities in Rivers.
Wike, who spoke in a live media chat at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Monday, said it was wrong for his counterpart from Bayelsa State to accuse him of not developing the Ijaw area of Rivers State.
Wike said, “What Governor Dickson said was uncalled for; what disharmony am I causing in Ijaw land? I am protecting what belongs to the people (Soku oil wells). It is the governor of Bayelsa State that is causing crisis among Ijaw people by taking what belongs to Rivers.
“He (Dickson) should go to Andoni, Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru, Opobo and other Ijaw areas in Rivers State and see what I have done. The APC told Dickson to go to Rivers State and see what is happening. Go to Yenagoa, what you see there are heaps of refuse. It is only one road leading to Yenagoa.
“Oshiomhole said he (Dickson) used N100bn to construct an airport, but he said it is N70bn. He is leaving office in the next one and half months and the airport is not working. Dickson cannot, in all ramifications, compare with me in terms of development.”
He added, “I am doing three flyovers. But in Bayelsa, he has no taste; he has no class. Today, you enter Golden Tulip Hotel through Government House. Let him come out and challenge me in a public debate.”
The Rivers governor also claimed that for the role played by the Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dickson would have defected to the APC.
He said, “Dickson had concluded arrangement to join the APC; it was Timipre Sylva that blocked him.”
Wike also dismissed claim that he was at war with Imo, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states governments as a result of oil resources.
On the sum of N5.6bn deducted from Rivers account on the claim that the state was indebted to Akwa Ibom State over an oil well issue, Wike said his administration had gone to court for the funds to be returned to the Rivers account.
But the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday said the PDP national leadership had intervened in the disagreement between the two governors.
Ologbondiyan, in a statement, said the PDP national leadership, having noted the issues, had activated the party’s internal reconciliation mechanism to settle the matter amicably.
He said, “The PDP recognises that the tone of disagreement between the two respected governors was skin-deep and only borne out of their love and zeal for their respective states.
“The PDP leadership hereby urges both Governors Wike and Dickson, as eminent leaders and frontline stakeholders in our party, to sheathe their swords while the leadership harmoniously resolves the issue.”
“We therefore assure all our leaders, critical stakeholders, members and supporters of our great party, particularly in Rivers and Bayelsa states, to remain calm and united as the issue is already being resolved.”
He added, “The PDP restates that it remains one big indivisible family and will not allow anything to undermine its unity and focus, especially at this trying time in the history of our nation.”