Abuja, April 24, 2019 The Senate has urged Governors of Kogi, Anambra and Enugu to meet and fashion out ways to resolve the lingering communal crises among the people over ownership of oil wells.
The Ibaji, Igga and Aguleri communities of Kogi, Enugu and Anambra respectively, have had disagreements and clashes over who plays host to production from oil wells OPLs 915 and 916.
The Senate’s resolution followed the presentation of a motion titled, “Need to Recognise Kogi State as an Oil Producing State,” by Sen. Isaac Alfa (PDP-Kogi) at the plenary on Wednesday.
The senate called on the Federal Government to direct the National Boundary Commission to immediately release its report on the determination of boundaries of the communities contiguous to oil wells OPLs 915 and 916.
It further urged Ibaji, Igga and Aguleri communities to sheath their sword and allow peace to reign while the commission delineated their boundaries properly.
The Upper Chamber also urged the federal government to ensure that the displaced communities in the disputed areas were allowed to return to their ancestral homes and compensated for their losses.
It equally directed its Committees on States and Local Government Administration, Petroleum Upstream and National Security and Intelligence to ensure compliance with the resolutions.
The senate, however, did not approve the motion seeking to recognise Kogi as an oil producing state, saying the National Assembly lacked the constitutional powers to delve into such a proposal.
Contributing, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu), recalled that the senate had earlier discussed the matter.
Utazi said that the Red Chamber had mandated its committee on petroleum upstream to liaise with the national boundary commission to delineate the boundaries of the states and report back to it.
The lawmaker advised Sen. Alfa to withdraw the motion to allow the committee to do the job, conclude it and send its findings to the chamber for further legislative action.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, equally asked the mover of the motion to withdraw it, pending the outcome of the assignment of the committee.
“Our order paper today is very heavy with items.
“So, I think we should do ourselves good to advise our friend and colleague to humbly withdraw the motion so that we can look at other issues on the course list.
“This matter had been visited.
“I had expected him to either speak to Sen. Dino who is a more experienced senator to give him proper guidance or seek guidance of the Rules and Business Committee on this matter.
“The truth of the matter is that even if we had not discussed the matter before now, we cannot by any stroke of imagination come up with a motion to declare any state oil producing.
“Otherwise, we can wake up one day and say that the whole of Nigeria is oil producing. So, I want to appeal to my colleague to withdraw the motion,” he said.
The deputy president of the senate further said: “since the national boundary commission is already handling the matter as he admitted in the body of his motion, we cannot take over the job of the commission.”
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, put the prayers to voice vote and four of five prayers were adopted.