President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said the feasibility studies which eventually led to the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in the Kolmani area were developed in the 1970s when he served as petroleum minister for over three years.
The president spoke when he received a delegation of political, religious and business leaders from Gombe State at State House, Abuja, who came to appreciate him for his role in the discovery of oil in the Kolmani area.
The president, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said “we developed the feasibility studies, believing it would further stabilise 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, Buhari said off-season elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states had 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 stabilising the security situation in the country, reviving and diversifying the economy, and fighting corruption.
President Buhari described the visit as a “morale booster.”
Leader of the delegation, Governor Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya, said the Gombe people came to express “profound appreciation and gratitude for the successful flag-off of the Kolmani oil project.”
He added that such a gigantic project was a milestone for the entire country, “as it will enhance our socioeconomic fortunes, create jobs, and benefit farmers, business people, indeed, everyone.”
In his remarks, the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar 111, described the Kolmani project as “historic, never to be forgotten by our people.”
He pledged that there would be no conflict between Gombe and Bauchi states, as the traditional institution would mobilise the people positively.
“There is no ground for conflict. We may be separated by borders but what unites us far exceeds what divide 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.