A non-governmental organisation, Save The Nation Movement (STNM), has hailed the dismissal of the petition by the Oron Union against the establishment of the Ibom Deep Seaport Project in Akwa Ibom State.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, by STNM national secretary, Comrade Stevens Chilaka, the group said the dismissal of the petition by the Federal Ministry of Transportation has vindicated the Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel, and demonstrated the Federal Government’s commitment to infrastructure development across the country.

The Ibom Deep Seaport project, which is expected to create hundreds of jobs and recently approved by the Federal Government had been mired in disputes over the location and alleged name change.

The Oron Nation had been opposed to the project due to its alleged relocation from the original Ibaka site in Mbo local government area of the state to another location in Ibeno local government area. The Oron Nation also kicked against the change of name of the project from Ibaka Deep Seaport to Ibom Deep Seaport.

But the state government has insisted the port project was best suited at the new location in Ibeno LGA.

However, laying to rest the protest by the Oron Union, the Federal Ministry of Transportation wrote a letter dated April 22, 2021 in respect to the petition and ruled that it lacked merit.

The letter, referencing the petition number: IDSP/ 02/21/ MOT, titled; “Illegal Relocation of Ibaka Deep Seaport from Ibaka Bay to Ibeno Bay” was signed on behalf of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, by the Director of Maritime Services, A.D. Suleiman.

It reads in part; “the Ministry conducted an extensive in-depth investigations into the matter with the view to establishing the veracity or otherwise of the allegation. The petition was consequently found to be lacking in merit, and unsupportive of the reality on ground.

“Accordingly, you are enjoined to advise Oron Union to cooperate and support Akwa Ibom State Government in its quest to successfully and timely execute the project for the overall interest of the citizens of the State and the Nigerian economy.”

Reacting to the development, STNM described as unpatriotic, those who went about casting aspersion on the person of the governor for accusing the Oron Union of writing unfounded, spurious and unsubstantiated petitions to scuttle the Ibom Deep Seaport project.

The STNM posited that now that the letter from the Ministry of Transportation dismissing the petition is in public domain, those who said Governor Emmanuel did not put the facts right and that the Oron Union did not write petitions to scuttle the project, needed to apologise to the governor.