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Oil Wells: What Is Ihedioha’s Crime?


Oil Wells: What Is Ihedioha’s Crime?

Lancelot Obiaku

The Supreme Court had on Friday, May 6, 2022, resolved the dispute over 17 oil wells between Rivers State and Imo State in favour of the former. This ruling immediately birthed outbursts from Gov. Nyesom Wike who led his State to victory. Wike during a prompt State broadcast to celebrate the victory did not hold back in verbally attacking former Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, accusing him of destroying a political arrangement for a 50:50 sharing formula of revenues accruing from the oil wells in Akri and Mgbede since 1999, during his short-lived administration.

Shockingly, back home, some who do not like the person of Ihedioha have joined Wike in making the former lawmaker the scapegoat for the potential loss of revenue from the oil wells, if the judgment of the Supreme Court is anything to go by. Listening to them, one would ordinarily think that Ihedioha had coveted Rivers State’s property for his personal use. But this is not the case.

The truth is that the boundary between the two States had been in dispute before Ihedioha became Governor and felt that the region where the oil wells are located belonged to Imo State. He did not commit a crime to seek, through the government of the federation and relevant agencies Imo’s full ownership of the oil wells which would have amounted to increased revenue for the State. The efforts were meeting success before the Rivers State government approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop Ihedioha and Imo State government. Ihedioha’s only crime in this matter is being patriotic and wanting more for Imo State.

Anyone celebrating the victory of Rivers State and Wike’s statements because they think Ihedioha’s reputation is at stake does not love Imo State. The same applies to people mocking Gov. Hope Uzodimma, who had furthered what Ihedioha started for the loss. Neither Emeka Ihedioha nor Hope Uzodimma lost. The truth is that it is Imo State and her people as a whole who lost the judgment.

It is appalling to see some people express opinions that show that they don’t love their State, just for the sake of politics. No matter who you support, you need to love your State first. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. Some people would rather give away the State’s treasure to strangers than have their political opponents take credit for keeping it. This attitude is anti-development and should be condemned by all men of good conscience.

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