The emir of Gombe Abubakar Abubakar has said that there is no dispute between Gombe and Bauchi States over Kolmani oil field.
A mild dispute is brewing over ownership of the oil field between some indigenes of Gombe and Bauchi States, following the inauguration of the Kolmani Integrated Development Project by President Muhammadu Buhari in November.
Speaking during a thank-you visit to Mr Buhari by a delegation of political, religious and business leaders from Gombe State at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday, the emir said the two states are brothers united by a common history.
“We are here to extend a message of gratitude and appreciation from the people of Gombe Emirate and beyond. The Kolmani integrated development project is going to unlock tremendous opportunities for our people, especially across the oil and gas value chain.
“This will provide job opportunities for our teeming youth and improve economic activities across the state and the north-east region. Gombe, as an important commercial center in the north-east, is strategically positioned to reap the benefits of this oil exploration.
“It is important to restate that there’s no conflict or dispute between Gombe and Bauchi States. We are brothers united by common history, first as important emirates in the defunct Sokoto Caliphate, secondly as part of Bauchi Province in colonial Nigeria, thirdly as part of the Northeast State, and lastly as Bauchi State before the creation of Gombe State in 1996.
“Therefore, we have many centuries of common history in political and cultural unity. Therefore, there’s no ground for conflict. We may be separated by borders, but what unites us far exceeds what divides us. On our part, as traditional rulers, we shall continue to call on our people to support and cooperate with government, exploration companies and security agencies for the success of this project,” the emir said.
In his remark, the president said when he served as Petroleum minister for over three years in the 1970s, the ministry developed the feasibility studies, believing it would further stabilize the polity.
The leader of the delegation, Governor Inuwa Yahaya, said Gombe people came to express profound appreciation and gratitude for the successful flag-off of the Kolmani oil project.
Mr Yahaya gave assurance of community support for the venture, promising to ensure success of the project along with Bauchi State.