Port Harcourt — Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the state government’s investment in Oil Mining License (OML) 11 is aimed at promoting the interest of host stakeholder communities and ensure peace for the operation of the oil facility.
Speaking during a solidarity visit by the Ogbakor Etche to the Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said the efforts of the Rivers State Government are geared towards ensuring that the communities get the best from the acquisition of OML 11.
“What Rivers State Government wants is for the interest of our state to be protected. Whoever that is coming to take over will have the interest of the communities protected.
“When the communities are part owners of OML 11, there will be peace. But some people sit down and engage in unnecessary propaganda.”
Governor Wike said that the acquisition of OML 11 is the height of resource control struggle, urging Ogoni people to appreciate the efforts of the Rivers State Government in this regard.
“When you talk about resource control, this is resource control. Instead of Ogoni people to thank us, they are allowing criminals, charlatans to go on radio and talk, with their leaders pretending not to be aware, when they know.
“They talk as if OML 11 belongs to them alone, which is not correct. Etche, Bonny, Oyigbo, Ogu/Bolo and Okrika are part of OML 11,” he said.
Governor Wike took time to explain the process that led to the acquisition of OML 11, said the Rivers State Government stepped in after the High Court ordered the sale of Shell’s stakes already attached as part of the enforcement of the court judgment initiated by the Ebubu Community.
Earlier, the President-General of Ogbakor Etche, Sir Machy Nwodim, commended the Rivers State Government for acquiring the oil mining lease.
Nwodim said as co-owners of OML 11, Etche ethnic nationality views the action as a welcome development.
He appealed to the Rivers State Government to take a similar action on OML17, where the bulk of Etche oil is found.
It will be recalled that the Rivers State Government fully acquired Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC’s 45percent interest in Oil Mining Lease, OML11, following the stake being auctioned by the High Court.