Port Harcourt — Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says part of the issues fuelling increased insecurity in Ogoniland was the planned resumption of oil exploration activities in OML11.
The Governor disclosed that he has received a letter from the National Security Adviser on the recommencement of oil production in OML 11.
Addressing Ogoni Political Leaders, Traditional Rulers, and Youth Groups at the Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike noted that he was not duly informed on the process.
He added that going forward, the State Government and the people of Ogoni should be carried along on the planned resumption of oil exploration activities in OML 11, saying that dialogue will yield better results.
According to him, “I got a letter from the National Security Adviser. Part of the problem is OML11. I have written back to them and said you did not inform me when you were going there. If you want to go into a community, tell me as a Governor. But even if there will be, we need to sit down and resolve issues.
“I have told the Federal Government that they cannot use force in doing everything. We need to sit down and resolve issues. As a Government, we are losing revenue no doubt, but the people must be involved so that everyone is part of what is happening.
“I will not support anything that will make Ogoni people not to benefit from their resources. I will not do anything to betray the people who have given me their mandate. I will never do that”.
Governor Wike further declared that his administration was working with security agencies to tackle rising insecurity and cultism in Ogoniland, assuring that the government is deploying all necessary machinery to restore peace in the troubled area.
The Governor charged community leaders to also work out modalities to tackle cultism, saying that the State Government will give them full support to achieve desired results.
“All of the persons involved in cultism are known by the community leaders. We are coming after them to restore peace to the Ogoni communities. This time, no effort will be spared. Attention in on the Ogoni area to check the rising insecurity. All through yesterday, the State Security Council met and resolved on the best way to tackle the cultists.”
The governor warned against the illegal removal of Government Recognised Chiefs by unauthorised persons, saying that such illegal actions lead to conflicts that degenerate into insecurity. He regretted the situation in Eleme where a government recognised Traditional Ruler was illegally removed by some unauthorised persons.
Also, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Usman Belel urged the people to support the security agencies to fight insecurity, while calling for confidential information to help security agencies track down cultists in the area.
He said cultism is not a way of life, but a criminal action that will be checked by the security agencies.