Gombe State Governor Inuwa Yahaya yesterday, behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari, asked him to prevail over the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to begin exploration of oil and gas in the Gongola Basin.
The governor also urged the president to come to the aid of the state to resettle internally displaced persons, internally displaced persons, as a result of the Boko Haram attack and the devastating floods that have affected two local government areas in the state, displacing people . and creating gully erosion.
Speaking with House correspondents after the meeting, Governor Yahaya said that oil and gas exploration in the area would trigger economic activities and create jobs for states in the region.
According to him, “With the discovery of oil and gas in the states of Gombe and Bauchi, and specifically, in the entire Gongola Basin, we seek to obtain the support of the federal government, so the pressure will increase on the National Oil of Nigeria. . cooperation NNPC and RPD to ensure that the oil and gas exploitation deposit that is available in Gombe and indeed in the wider Gongola Bsin is encouraged, so that economic activities are activated, our people have a job and Gombe join the league of oil producing states. “
The governor said that one of the reasons for the meeting with the president was to show his solidarity with the way he (Buhari) has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said will soon be a thing of the past.
He said: “My mission to the President is to show solidarity and praise from the people of Gombe, especially for the way they have been able to take on the great responsibility of running this country, especially during the pandemic. We will even come out of the pandemic very soon.
“Just to congratulate you and thank you for what you have been doing. It has been a long time that we met and I felt that it was necessary for us to get together and talk.
“Secondly, Gombe has taken responsibility with regard to internally displaced persons and the influx of people who due to the insurgency and displacement from neighboring states have moved to Gombe. So that puts a lot of stress on our resources, both educational, social, environmental, and whatever.
“And as a result, we have many problems and we need to share and seek guidance from the President on how to handle the problems related to insecurity and people who have been displaced.
“The third is the issue of floods that affect the entire country. As much as we have no rivers around Gombe, but the flooding around the banks of the Gongola River, which covers two of the local government areas, has affected us equally and also the resettlement of most of our people.
“But most importantly, because Gombe is situated between a valley and due to bad practices and the lack of proper environmental management, ravines have developed.
“You may have seen the effect of gully erosion in Gombe State in recent weeks. So the erosion malaise has really devastated the lives of our people and has really become a problem and we need to seek the support of the federal government.
“As at this time, there are 200 active ravines in Gombe that have affected the lives and livelihoods of many of our people. So, we informed Mr. President about the best way to assist and provide help, especially from the Ministry of the Environment and, more importantly, through the understanding of the federal government with the World Bank through water management and water shed project that Gombe has entered but is still taking off.
“Once we can get it done, we hope that our gully erosion problem will be partially, if not fully resolved. “
On the number of people displaced by the floods, the governor said: “Recently, in two local governments we had about 3,200 families that have been displaced. But we have tried to offer alternatives.
“At this time, we are designing routes from which we will relocate all resettlements found in floodplains and ravines that are normally susceptible to flooding.
“Those who have been displaced by the insurgency have relocated among our people. Regarding the issue of displaced people, residents of Borno and Yobe, we have an agreement for them to settle with our people, so we do not have camps for internally displaced people to say. So people have acclimatized and got used to living with our people and they are doing very well ”.