The honeymoon that followed the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in the Kolmani area continued on Tuesday, 6 December 2022 when a delegation of political, religious and business leaders from Gombe State paid a visit to the State House, Abuja, to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his role in it.
According to a statement issued by the State House Communications Director and Special Adviser to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari jocularly told them: “Thank you for coming to say thank you to me for doing my job. Thank you for appreciating the efforts.”
Mr. Adesina stated that President Buhari, going down memory lane, said when he served as Petroleum Minister for over three years in the 1970s, “we developed the feasibility studies, believing it would further stabilize our polity. So, you should congratulate yourselves, rather than me for the oil find.”
“On the political situation in the country, preceding the 2023 general elections, the President said off-season elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States have shown that the government respects Nigerians, “and would allow them to choose their own leaders without interference or manipulation.”
“He also said irrespective of what some people say, the administration he led had made strides in stabilizing the security situation in the country, reviving and diversifying the economy, and fighting corruption.
“President Buhari described the visit as a “morale booster,” the Special Adviser also stated.
He further stated that eader of the delegation, Governor Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya, said Gombe people came to express “profound appreciation and gratitude for the successful flag-off of the Kolmani oil project.”
Gov. Yahaya, according to Mr. Adesina, added that such gigantic project was a milestone for the entire country, “as it will enhance our socio-economic fortunes, create jobs, and benefit farmers, business people, indeed, everyone.”
“Governor Yahaya assured of community support for the venture, promising that along with Bauchi State, where the oil field is jointly situated, “we will ensure success of the project.
“He said President Buhari had done his best for the country, despite the tumultuous time in which he served, and history would be kind to him.
“He appreciated the President for other projects in the State like takeover of the airport by the Federal Government, siting of an Air Force Base, a Federal Polytechnic, among several others,” the statement further reads.
“We will remember you forever. You have left footprints that are indelible. History will be kind to you on efforts you made, despite the difficult times,” the Governor said,” said Mr. Adesina.
He said the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar 111, described the Kolmani project, in his remarks, as “historic, never to be forgotten by our people.”
Mr. Adesina said the Gombe Emir pledged that there would be no conflict between Gombe and Bauchi States, as the traditional institution would mobilize the people positively.
Industry watchers are however waiting to see how the nature of conflicts that engulfed the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region since the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in Oloibiri in 1958 would be averted in the Kolmani area and the larger North East.