Federal Government is to compensate Cross River State with a special package to cushion the effect of the loss of 76 oil wells which the Supreme Court confirmed last year to belong to Akwa Ibom State.

The ruling had pitched the two states against each other, but the affected state Governors and the Federal Government decided on a political solution to ensure Cross River State did not lose out completely following the decision of the apex court.

A delighted Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State on Thursday commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the intervention which, he noted, would greatly ameliorate the impact of the loss of the oil wells on the state.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Tony Anenih, disclosed to newsmen after leading other members of the BoT to a closed door meeting with Imoke in Calabar on Thursday that the Federal Government had worked out a soft-landing package for the state.

Daily Independent learnt from dependable sources that between N300 million and N400 million would be given to the state monthly to enable it meet some commitments since the state was already seriously in debt, owing partly to the withdrawal of proceeds of the affected oil wells.

It was gathered that the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, was willing to part with some proceeds from the 76 oil wells to Cross River so as not to hamper its development.

Akpabio had actually approached the Federal Government with the proposal.

About two meetings were reportedly held recently at the Presidency to sort out the matter, but Imoke was said to have rejected Akpabio’s offer because it sounded like Cross River was a charity case.

Akpabio wanted to pass the matter through the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly but Imoke rejected the move.

Following that development, the Presidency also considered appealing to other states to assist Cross River but that idea was also jettisoned because it was feared that the National Assembly will become interested in how that would be achieved in a federation.

The special package planned by the Federal Government, however, does not have anything to do with the proceeds of the 76 oil wells already ceded to Akwa Ibom following the loss of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.

Anenih, who disclosed the move to assist the embattled state by the Federal Government, said Imoke was delighted at the news of the intervention and has expressed gratitude to the President.

Anenih was unwilling to disclose details of their discussion with Imoke, but he said all contending issues tabled will be resolved to the satisfaction of the parties involved.

He listed issues discussed to include Bakassi, oil wells, Governors’ Forum, development of the South-South geopolitical region and discipline within the PDP.

In his own introductory remarks, Imoke described Anenih as a leader and father that has succeeded in keeping the party together.

Imoke said the state felt honoured to play host to the BoT members, assuring that the party will continue to remain united despite its challenges.Image