The people of Oro Ethnic Nationality have debunked the claim by the Akwa Ibom State government media that they have accepted the relocation of the proposed Deep Seaport from the preferred location near Ibaka.
Oro describes the story as “a fake news and government propaganda”, which should be disregarded by the general public.
They stated that an “impromptu meeting with Oro people was convened by Governor Udom Emmanuel to deliberately exclude the Chairman, Oro Nation Technical Committee on Ibaka Deep Sea Port.”
Oro believes that the governor was trying to “railroad them to withdraw their petition against the relocation of Ibaka Deep Sea Port.”
According to a release by the publicity secretary of Oron Union, the people were wise to hold another meeting immediately after leaving the Government House in Uyo.
It was in the meeting held at the Residence of the former Deputy Governor, Amb Etim Okpoyo, that they resolved that Governor Udom Emmanuel did not address their concerns as contained in the petition of Oro Nation.
Accordingly, the release reiterated on the need for Governor Emmanuel to address their concerns before Oro can consider writing to the investor.
According to the petition which was sent to the governor, and the Chairperson of the Ibom Deep Seaport Implementation Committee, Mrs Mfon Usoro Esq, Òrò Nation contended that a location named “Ökpösö” near Ibaka was chosen after a comprehensive the Due Diligence Study of January 2013.
They recalled how the Outline Business Case done in April 2013 by a consultancy firm, Felak Concept Limited, had confirmed Ökpösö as the most suitable location for the Port.
It could be recalled that Òrò Nation Technical Committee had appraised the modalities leading to the choice of Ökpösö near Ibaka as the most suitable location and noted that such had followed due engineering principles for port location.
They condemned the second location assessment contained in the Outline Business Case published by the same Felak Concept Limited in May 2014, which contradicted their previous studies, taking the location to a contentious site in a disputed land being claimed by Ibeno.
Meanwhile, Engr Nkpubre has explained that he couldn’t have been part of the meeting due to late notice given less than 24 hours and recalled how he spent five days in Uyo in vain when the meeting was first slated.
Engr Nkpubre however denied the allegation by Governor Udom Emmanuel that he ever sought a cosultancy job on the shipyard project.
He rather stated that he was offered a consultancy job for his proposed Multipurpose Shipyard, for Ship Building, Ship Repair and Oil and Gas Construction to be taken to Ikot Abasi which he politely turned down.
He insisted that the large scale Construction Facility was designed for Ibaka and not Ikot Abasi.