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NDDC BOARD: MARINE ECOLOGY PROFESSOR WRITES BUHARI, FAULTS ORON PEOPLE ON OIL PRODUCTION CLAIMS

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Against the backdrop of recent claims by the people of Oron federal constituency of Akwa Ibom state, a Professor of Paleontology and Marine Ecology, Prof. Etie Ben Akpan has come out to maintain that the federal Constituency is non littoral and does not abort the Atlantic Ocean.

The former Head of Geology department, University of Calabar, in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, said it is absolutely false that the five (5) Oro Nation Local Government Areas are the largest oil/gas producing communities accounting for over eighty percent (80%) of Akwa Ibom State oil production figure to the federal purse”.

Recently, Ekid speaking people of Akwa Ibom State, comprising Eket and Esit Eket local government areas, had made a case to President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment of their indigene into the soon to be constituted management board of the Niger Delta Development Commission,NDDC.

But the request by the Ekid People’s Union appeared not to have gone down well with the people of Oro as seen in their rejoinder on the matter. They Ekid people had appealed to President Buhari to respect existing arrangements in the NDDC Acts with regards to appointment of executive directors for the Commission.

In a letter dated 7th July, 2021, and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Ekid People’s Union had urged the President to judiciously respect the criteria for appointments into the NDDC Board as provided for by the Act establishing the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

The act provides for rotation of the positions in the board among member States and also considers core oil producing Local Government Areas in the Niger-Delta region.

Making reference to the demise of Mr. Ibanga Etang from Esit Eket Local Government Area, who died in active service as Executive Director, Finance and Administration, EDFA, the Ekid people had asked the President to make a replacement to fill the lost seat as the tenure of the occupant of the seat had not elapsed.

But Oro Union in a reply dated, 14 July, 2021 and published in a state based weekly tabloid, Weekly Post is laying claim to 80% of oil produced in the state. The group says all the 5 local government areas that make up Oron Federal Constituency including, Oron, Okobo, Urue-Ofong Oruko, Udung Uko and Mbo are all oil producing local government areas and produces a bulk of the oil in the state, leaving Eket, Esit-Eket, Ibeno, Eastern Obolo, Onna, Mkpat-Enin, and Ikot Abasi with a paltry 20% production profile.

Countering this claim, Prof. Etie Ben Akpan in his submission faulted the position of the Oro Union on the matter, and kicked against the tagging of 5 Local Government Areas in Oron Federal Constituency as littoral or coastal when they do not directly abort the Atlantic coastline.

According to Etie Akpan, the five local government areas in Oron nation may be regarded as shoreline local government areas.

He accused the Oron Union of attempting to “cajole and mislead the public to believing that Ibeno Local Government Area, Eket Local Government Area, Esit Eket Local Government Area, Onna Local Government Area, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, Mkpat Enin Local Government Area and Eastern Obolo Local Government Area that
are known and associated with the prolific oil wells of the Niger Delta Basin are accountable to only less than twenty percent (20%) of the Akwa Ibom State total oil output”.

Prof Akpan also punctured and described as uncharitable, the Oron Union’s portrayal of both Eket and Esit Eket as being landlocked Local Government Areas, maintaining that it is a known fact that the Ekid people of Eket and Esit Eket Local Government Areas are the bonafide owners of Akoiyak land of the then south eastern Nigeria.

“This land is also known as the Stubb’s Creek Forest Reserve. The ownership of this land
had long been settled and confirmed by the Privy Council Judgment of 1916 and 1918 in England.

“The Federal Government constituted Justice Akpata’s Commission of Enquiry of 1993 also re-affirmed the position of the Privy Council Judgment and the ownership of the Akoiyak land by Ekid people.

“Since the decisions by the learned judges in favour of the Ekid people, there has been no contradictory legal opinion and there will never be. For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the geography and the environmental set-up, Akoiyak is a strip of mangrove swamp and wetland forest of a few kilometers in width, stretching from the left of Qua Iboe River estuary eastwards to Okposo fishing settlements and it aborts directly the Atlantic Seaboard.

“Since the Ekid people are the owners of the Akoiyak land or Stubb’s Creek Forest Reserve, and this land is not only contiguous with the sea but directly aborts the Atlantic seaboard, how can and why would any right thinking person describe Eket and Esit Eket as being landlocked?

“Akwa Ibom State is classified as a littoral or coastal State only because of the stretch of this Ekid ancestral Akoiyak land which is in contiguity with the Atlantic Ocean.

“As Oron Union has rightly slated, over 90% of Akwa Ibom State oil output is from the off-shore environment in the continental shelf.

“A coastline must abort a community or a Local Government Area before the latter can be regarded as littoral, and hence be accredited with oil
production figures from the off-shore oil wells within its longitudinal coordinates. It is for this reason that the Supreme Court of Nigeria in
2012 held that Cross River State is a non-littoral and a non-oil producing state after the whole Bakassi Peninsula inclusive of Western Bakassi
which made Cross River State littoral was ceded to the Republic of Cameroon from Nigeria by the judgment of the International Court of Justice in 2002.

“Since Cross River State is not producing from any known on-shore well, it returns with zero allocation from the Derivation Fund.

“Cross River State is also not a Maritime State and it is doubtful if there is at the moment a maritime boundary between the Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State, after same was obliterated following the implementation by Nigeria of that ruling of the International Court of Justice. Meanwhile, the Oron Union is claiming that Oron Federal
Constituency is sharing a Maritime boundary with Cross River State.

“It is the opinion of Oron Union that the 76 off-shore oil wells that the court decision went against Cross River State in favour of Akwa Ibom State are now owned by the latter because they are in Oro waters. This does not sound logical in anyway.

“To know whether those off-shore oil wells are in Oro waters and can be credited to Oron Federal Constituency, the coastline (not shoreline) must be projected or
extended from the point at Qua Iboe River estuary, straight eastward to see which land of the 5 Local Government Areas the projected or extended coastline has aborted in order to give it a littoral status.

“Longitudinal coordinates of the off-shore oil wells should also be taken into account in deciding where the wells belong.

“Oron Union must first and foremost find out how littoral the Oron Federal Constituency is and if on the positive; the length of its coastline (not shoreline) compared to the stretch from Ikot Abasi axis in the west to Okposo settlement in the east to justify the claim of having the majority (over 80%) share of production of the over 90% of the Akwa Ibom State oil that is derived from the off-shore environment. It is important we keep these records straight for posterity.”

Prof Akpan’s letter reads; in part, “why was it necessary for Oron Union to use the Federal Constituency as the basis for reporting on the quantum of oil production in Akwa Ibom
State whereas the DPR reports with the Local Government Area as the basic unit?

“If we were to go by this logic, it can as well be stated that Uyo Federal Constituency is oil bearing, because Uruan Local Government Area, a component part of the Constituency, is oil bearing.

“It is therefore untrue and misleading for Oron Union to describe all the five Local Government Areas of the Oron Constituency as oil/gas producing.

“The record with the DPR does not say so. The report of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC, 2000) recognized the following Local Government Areas as oil producing in Akwa Ibom State, they are: Ibeno, Eket, Esit Eket, Onna, Ikot Abasi, Eastern Obolo, Mkpat Enin and Mbo Local Government Areas.

“Each entity has her quantum of oil production attached, and it would be ridiculous to
think or expect any sensible person to believe that Mbo Local Government Area alone would have an oil production figure higher than the figures of the other seven(7) Local Government Areas combined, as Oron Union has repeatedly stated.

“It is also very unfortunate that the Oron Union believes that the Resolution of the National Assembly as the one passed on 16th May, 2012 can turn an oil bearing or a non oil bearing
community to an oil producing community.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended has not given the Legislative body the authority to do so. The powers to decide on the status of a community as to whether such is oil producing or not reside with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who are working in concert with the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

“What purpose did conveying the Resolution passed by the National Assembly recognizing Oron Federal Constituency as oil producing community to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State and MD, NDDC on 9th July, 2012 serve?

‘Wouldn’t it have saved time and energy to channel any complaint about
the oil producing status of the Oro 5 Local Government Areas through
the NNPC and DPR that have authority on this matter than engage the
services of the National Assembly?

“Oron Union knows and has listed the oil companies currently operating within the region in question, to include Moni Pulo, Addax, Universal Energy, Oriental Energy, Shell Petroleum, Amocon, Total E&P and ExxonMobil. It is a known fact that these companies were assigned their acreages for operation by NNPC and DPR, so the latter know the owners of the territory that these companies are operating from.

“It is mandatory that the oil companies report to the Joint Venture or Regulatory Partner, the NNPC and DPR the oil production figures on a regular basis. It is therefore the DPR and NNPC that know which communities are oil producing as well as their quantum of production.”

“Eight Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State are currently recognized by DPR as oil producing and they are: Ibeno, Eket, Esit Eket, Onna, Ikot Abasi, Eastern Obolo, Mkpat Enin and Mbo Local Government Areas. Out of these, only Eket and Eastern Obolo Local Government Areas are yet to get appointments into the NDDC Board.

‘It is only the DPR and NNPC
that have the records and authority to decide on the oil producing status of any community. The idea of dragging in the National Assembly to play this role is abnormal and must be discouraged.

The letter further urged that the records of appointments into the NDDC Board since inception in 2000 as presented in the write-up by Oron Union should be kept in view and judged with the provision in the NDDC Act (2000) on Appointments in mind.

“It is to be noted that Okobo Local Government Area is not reflected on the DPR record as an oil producing community.

“The Oron Union tabulation of appointments on the Board of NDDC has clearly shown that Eket Local Government Area, one of the leading oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom State has not enjoyed any NDDC Board appointment since its inception in 2000, thus justifying the complaints in that letter to Mr. President.

“The other oil producing community that has so far also not been considered in the NDDC appointment is Eastern Obolo Local Government Area.

“In conclusion, it is a well known fact that oil companies like Universal (Savanah) Energy and Moni Pulo are producing oil from the on-shore environment of Mbo Local Government Area in the so called marginal field. But this field is in no way as prolific as the off-shore counterparts.
The on-shore wells at Mbo, Esit Eket and others account for less than 10% of the Akwa Ibom State total oil output, while the major production is from the off-shore wells scattered about on the continental shelf.
Secondly, only those littoral Local Government Areas can rightly claim
the share in the production from the off-shore wells. Eket Local Government Area and Esit Eket Local Government Area are littoral and
cannot be described as land locked because their ancestral Akoiyak land is in direct contact with the Atlantic seaboard.

Prof Akpan held that “further exchange of hot words between the two respectable Unions of Ekid and Oro over this issue of pending NDDC Board appointments for Akwa Ibom State may not be necessary”, hopong that the guideline in the NDDC Act on appointments is respected.

“The Government has the record and knows from where it should normally make the appointments”, he added.

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Remember My Heart When My Body Is Gone’ – Level 400 Student Dies Leaving Behind Mysterious Message

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Final year students of the University of Ghana have been thrown into a state of shock and mourning as one of their mates has mysteriously died .
A level 400 student of Legon identified as Daniel Anane Wadie has passed on after leaving a mysterious message.

According to reports, the deceased, Daniel Anane Wadie wrote on his Whatapp status,“When my body is gone, remember my heart”before his sudden demise.

It is unknown what exactly led to his death but the report says he died at the Legon Hospital when he was seeking medical care.

Legon Hyper1 who goes by the name @Elormdeezy on Twitter reported about the sad incident on the micro-blogging site whilst some colleagues of him confirmed the report.

It is believed that Daniel Anane Wadie died on September 9th, 2021, a day before his final exams.

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#ANTICIPATE ‘LOVE AGAIN’ – THE MOVIE

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This is to officially notify and very respectfully invite the public for the official premiere of the movie, LOVE AGAIN. Yes, that’s what it has been about, a movie, one that everyone must watch.

Love Again is a story of an “unexpected love” that turned out to become a “match made in heaven” with great lessons for our generation. The movie offers deep solutions and guide to our generation in our quest for TRUE LOVE. Everyone who watches this movie shall FALL in LOVE with LOVE.

Some details about the premiere are as follows:

Date: September 26, 2021
Time: 3 pm (Red carpet), 5pm (screening)
Venue: Silverbird Cinema, Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Uyo.
Dress Code: White/Red

WATCH THIS SPACE FOR THE UNVEILING OF TICKET PRICES, SALES POINT and THE MOVIE CASTS.

Are you in search for LOVE AGAIN then do not miss this PREMIERE.

FIRST GIVEAWAY:

WHO PLAYED THE LEAD FEMALE CHARACTER IN THIS MOVIE? THE FIRST CORRECT ANSWER WINS ONE LITRE OF THE LOVER’S SOUP #AFANGSOUP.
(subject to some terms and conditions)

#LOVEAGAIN
#VALENTINEINSEPTEMBER

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MPM INAUGURATION: WEEP NOT OBA

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I expected that outing to be dramatic. So it was. After all in 2014, Oron and Ikot Abasi were epic centers of tragicomedies.

I love Obong Bassey Albert’s (OBA) style. Charming in distress. Courageous in ambush. A solo vocalist. A self style activist. Generous. Charismatic…

It is true to Maintain Peace, the State must be guided by Justice, Equity and Fairness. But should OBA be the falconer? Should he rightfully stir this hornet nest?

This tripod of Justice, Equity and Fairness -JEF is then an orphan. OBA has made JEF a pack of cosmetics. When you want to attract confused bachelors apply it. When your desires are met, wash it off.

Did OBA consider the wheel of JEF in 2014 when against known historical and political realities stake his seat as Commissioner of Finance for 7years to grab Governorship which was known to rotate to Eket Senatorial District after Uyo and Ikot Ekpene had taken “turns”?

Many things will work for OBA. Certainly not JEF. He would have had a popular appeal had he mobilized Akwa Ibom to the rescue of Oro Nation in 2014 or Eket at large.

Uyo Federal Constituency is bereaved, because OBA’s artillery crushed them in 2015 and 2019. They only had a shot once at the Senate 1999-2003. While Ibiono Ibom enjoys the pourri for 12years without recalling Justice, Equity or Fairness as it is now.

Since OBA could not,- which he could have – negotiate JUSTICE for Oro Nation; was not FAIR to Eket Senatorial District and had trespassed the compass of EQUITY for UYO Federal Constituency, his call for JEF, is too weak a solo for a desirous orchestra fit for multi- congregation of divergent interest.

This our OBA is in TINUBU kind of political bobby traps. OBA claims to have conceded to Eket Senatorial District before President Goodluck Jonathan. That must have been a personal negotiation, not party, certainly not binding on over 7million people. This is the implications:

•Justice did not appeal to him hence, the only person or authority that could appeal his ego was the President. By giving him GEJ, they robbed him a cliff to the anchor of a tripod – JEF- which he is in dire need now.

• Jonathan is no more the President. Certainly, not in charge of the political mercenaries or political structure of PDP.

•There is a name he omitted yesterday. That person like Jonathan, is no more in PDP. He may have facilitated that meeting with President Jonathan.

• In his claims yesterday, he mentioned Barr. Enoidem, Senator Akon Eyakeyin, Hammer( Enobong Uwa) as preachers of the gospel of Peace which he heeded in 2014. The question is, where these persons guarantors to OBA’s irrevocable succession of Akwa Ibom Hill Top Mansion 2023?

•Since His Excellency Mr Udom Emmanuel is the beneficiary of the peoples mandate in 2015, and nowhere, was his name mentioned, is he and other emerging stakeholders after that infamous political negotiations liable for a party they neither partook nor shared in the cocktail?

• It thus appears, the ASO ROCK medley was a win- win. OBA and AKPABIO became Senators; UDOM Governor. But has OBA raised questions about the fate of other 24 aspirants who were on 40 days and nights fruitless sojourn in Abuja? I wish he does. Empathy is a strategy.

OBA should wakeup. The game had long begun. Those who could not give him the least significant item as MPM FEZ CAP cannot trust him with a GEM as precious as SEAL OF THE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE.

Now that OBA has publicly committed himself to the philosophy of Maintain Peace Movement MPM, he should be mindful of the Donald Trump style politicking. It might make sense to the Republicans, but detested by Democrats and those indifferent. The consequences is for your guessing.

Like or hate him, he is a master of some political notes. He understands sentiments, grandstanding, phatic emotions, jilt, solidarity, religion as a political vehicle, manipulation etc. Above all he has a voice which he is confident.

However, the task ahead calls for more. The people he is up against are no toddlers. Can’t you see how they played along yesterday? He raised a chorus, they joined. He dived into worship, they were deep with him. He spoke, the listened. Where necessary, they concurred.

When he said I speak the minds of Ini Ememobong, Akan Okon, Henry Archibong, Ememobong Essien, Chairman Ibiono Ibom, was that exaggeration, emotional blackmail or manipulation for political gains?

If no one wears your cap, OBA wear it yourself. It’s fine like dat

But let’s Maintain Peace!

Ekomobong Peter
Writer|Observer|Commentator|Public Issue Analyst.

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