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Published On: Fri, Nov 30th, 2012

Uduaghan Slams NBC over Boundary Disputes in South-South …Denies picking Ibori’s birthday bills

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By Our Reporter
Delta State Governor Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan has blamed the National Boundary Commission (NBC) which uses boundary adjustments to re-locate oil wells is to blame for the lack of collaborative spirit among states of the South-south geo-political zone.
He lamented that while crude oil is holding together the disparate ethnic nationalities in Nigeria under an umbrella, it is ironically tearing apart the region where it is produced. And this has nothing to do with the violent youth agitations which have become a norm in the oil enclave of the Niger Delta in spite of the Federal Government Amnesty Programme to achieve peace.

Instead, the state governors have constituted themselves to major obstacles in the quest for regional peace as they scheme through the NBC to redefine inter-state land boundaries with the sole aim of appropriating oil wells which lie on the threshold.
Speaking to The Guardian, Uduaghan expressed worry that boundary disputes have become part of the things weighing down the Niger Delta region. He noted that no other part of the country is facing this challenge because there are no oil wells outside the Niger Delta to fight over just as he traced the incessant boundary disputes to the mode of operations of the NBC.
He said: “Unfortunately, we have a system in Nigeria where in the South-South the boundaries seem to be shifting depending on who is in the NBC. It is only in the South-South that you have boundary issues in Nigeria, and it is because of the way the information from the boundary commission is transmitted.
“Today, a boundary is here, tomorrow, they can tell you it has shifted from where it was before to another place. So we have what is called mobile boundaries in the South-south and that has caused a lot of problems. Today, you notice that they say XYZ oil wells are in this state by tomorrow they say, no, it is no longer there, it is in another state. It is a big, big problem in the South-south and it is basically because of the oil. I’m sure if there was no oil in the south-south, no one would bother to change boundaries like chameleon.”
Uduaghan who is enjoying a respite from attacks by elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark over a range of issues including the disputed 2007 governorship elections in Delta State which produced him (Uduaghan) and the leadership style of former governor James Ibori currently serving a jail term in United Kingdom, also hinted on the strategy he adopted to contain the old man.
“I grew up with my grandmother and one of the things I picked up growing up is respect for the aged. Chief E. K Clark has a lot of experience. He has been minister, he is not looking for my position, and so my attitude is to listen to his wisdom, the ones I believe that I can handle, I handle, some I just let it go. But I try at all times to correct the figures he brandishes to criticize projects because people just give him figures and he uses same to talk. What I will never do is to be disrespectful to an elder. I will not mention names but you will agree that many in the past who showed disrespect to elders did not end well. After some time, Chief Clark himself realized that I never disrespected him and he also had a change of mind.”
Uduaghan disclosed that neither he nor the Delta State government was involved James Ibori’s birthday anniversary celebration during which friends and associates presented the former governor as a hero and victim of political machinations at home.
He added: “Let me clear one issue, the government never ever celebrated Ibori’s birthday. His political associates came together and celebrated him. Yes, he is a brother and personally, I wished him happy birthday.

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