Port Harcourt — The people of Ogoni in Rivers State have faulted the intervention of Governor Nyesom Wike, in the crisis rocking the Belema flow station and gas plant in OML 25, operated by the SPDC/NNPC JV in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the state, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the governor’s interest in the matter
Recall that the women and youths of Offoinama, Belema and Ngeje communities for the past two years, shutdown and lay siege on SPDC’s OML25 oil and gas platform, over alleged neglect, underdevelopment and marginalisation of the host communities by the Dutch multinational.
Recently, the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stepped in to intervene in the matter leading to the signing of an N1.2billion Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU, between Shell and the representatives of the OML25 host communities.
But the people of Ogoni have come out to fault what they described as the governor’s meddlesomeness, saying that the governor has no business in the dispute between the host communities of OML25 and Shell, especially since the matter was already before the Federal Government.
National Coordinator of the Conscience of Ogoni People, COOP, Gani Topba, who faulted the governor when he paid a solidarity visit to the host communities of OML25, said it was sad that there has been no Federal or State Government’s presence in the area, despite SPDC drilling 45,000bpd from the area, for the past 40years.
Chief Topba explained that the essence of the solidarity visit was to show the concerns of Ogoni People who, according to him, had also suffered the same marginalization and oppression in the hands of Shell, until the intervention of the international community.
According to him, “We the people of Ogoni have heard and we have come to see your pains. Our visit today is to show support to your quest for Shell to leave your land.
“Belemaoil Producing Limited has the best template that would develop our region. So, he should be given the opportunity to operate the oil field. I have seen that Shell has caused a lot of crisis in this community. There is no presence of any community development project by Shell.”
“This is what Ken Saro-Wiwa, Isaac Boro and other great sons of Niger Delta died for. Saro-Wiwa saw it earlier and said that with the way Shell was going, that they would be forced out of Niger Delta.
“We are using this medium to call on the federal government to investigate the Rivers State Government and Shell in their attempt to reopen OML25. We want to know what is the governor’s interest.”
The Conscience of Ogoni People also commended the people of Kula Kingdom for adopting a non-violent approach in their quest for justices, stressing that their demand for Shell’s exit from the area must be achieved.
Also speaking, the Spokesman of Kula Council of Chiefs, Engr. Fiala Okoye-Davies, commended the Ogoni people for identifying with the people of Kalabari against Shell, adding that the visit has reassured of them of victory.
“We are happy that you have come to identify with us at this time. The issues of this OML25 has lingered, like as we have told the presidency, that everything concerning this OML25 should be divested to an indigenous company preferably, Belemaoil Producing Limited because of the antecedent that we have seen.”