Port Harcourt — Cross River State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade, has lamented that the state was not a part of the 13percent oil derivation, as a result of losing her oil wells through the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.
Governor Ayade also lamented that the state was now like a weeping child in the Niger Delta Development Commission, since NDDC only allocates projects to member states, on the basis of the quantum of crude oil produced in each states.
The governor spoke when the Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, took a tour of some major projects of the Ayade-led administration, chided the federal government for what he said was a gross act of insensitivity towards the state.
While speaking, Governor Ayade said: “The former minister, even though not a Cross Riverian, has a deep knowledge of the pains and the sufferings of the people of Cross River State.
“I am shocked that this country is watching what is happening to this state. We are not part of the 13% derivation, we are like a weeping child in NDDC, we have no say because it is on the basis of the quantum of oil produced that NDDC allocates projects.
“We have lost our oil wells, the N500million per month as agreed is not coming, the N15billion every two years is not coming. We have just been reduced to want in body, in spirit, in soul and in our finances,” Governor Ayade lamented.
Earlier, the Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, decried the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, saying that it should never have been the case because Cross River State have been robbed in his view.
Fani-Kayods who also toured the social housing scheme allocated to the displaced people of Bakassi in Ifiang Ayong, Bakassi Local Government Area, also said Nigeria needs more governors like Sir Ben Ayade, given his impactful style of governance.
He also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, as the territory according to him, still belongs to Nigeria.
“The ruling of the Court was that they (Cameroon) could take the Bakassi peninsula, but once that had been done, it had to be ratified by the Nigerian legislature and there had to be a referendum, a plebiscite for the people of Bakassi to agree to that.
“Painfully, you were not given the opportunity of having a referendum, the matter never went to the National Assembly and consequently in my view, I would argue strongly that this territory that was ceded to the Cameroon was unlawful and therefore still belongs to Nigeria.
“And if I were President Buhari today, and I remember vividly his promises during campaigns where he said he will look into the issue of Bakassi if elected president. I would urge him to return our honour to us as a nation.”