Traditional rulers of OML-25 oil flow station Host Communities in Rivers to Governor Wike:
.,.Don’t throw Oil Rich Kula Communities into crisis by forcing us to make peace with Shell- Traditional rulers
..,Show sincerity Solve over 26 years of shutdown of oil wells by Ogoni people before OML-25 in kula.
…We won’t attend meeting called by Governor Wike over shutdown flow station
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Proposed intervention by Governor Nyesom Wike to ensure that OML-25 flow station which shutdown two years ago during protests by the host communities can come back on stream has been met with stiff opposition from the traditional rulers of the host communities who told journalists on Thursday that they will not attend the meeting slated for June 22, 2019 in Government House, Port Harcourt.
Speaking to journalists, the traditional rulers of the three host communities of OML-25 made up of Belema, Offoin-Ama and Ngeje who are host to the Belema flow station that produces over 44,000 barrels of crude oil and 103,000 metric cubic feet of gas per day picked holes in manner of their invitation to the meeting by those they claim are ‘non-indigenes of host communities and are mere political loyalists of the Governor.’
In a signed statement read on their behalf by Alabo Engr. Fiala Okoye-Davies, the Spokesman of Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers who also doubles as their Secretary at the press briefing in Port Harcourt, the traditional rulers argued that the planned meeting by Governor Wike is “mere meddlesomeness as the key players and rightful leadership of the communities were not invited to the meeting called by the Governor.
Among other objections to Governor Wike planned intervention is also what they termed “meddlesomeness on an issue on the Exclusive List and not on the Concurrent List of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended in 1999).
They also pointed out that the issue of the closed flowstation “is already being handled by the Presidency and is currently before the Office of the Vice President for dialogue, peaceful resolution which the Rivers Government is fully aware of.”
The traditional rulers who reprersented the OML-25 host communities at the media briefing include: HRH King Bourdillon Ekine (Oko XXXVII), Amanyanabo of Opu-Kula and ruler of Belema community, Chief Ibimina Daniel Kiliya, Head Ngeje Community and HRH Sibia Aaron Sukubo Offo, Amanyanabo of Offoin-Ama Community.
They vowed that they will neither attend or honour any decisions that may be reached in the meeting of Saturday June 22, called by Governor Nyesom Wike concerning the shutdown flow station two years ago.
They stated unequivocally that “the host communities of OML-25 do not have confidence in the Rivers State Government handling this matter as previous Administrations of Dr Peter Odili and Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi which the the present Governor was part of could not resolve it.”
They also said the proposed meeting is “an invitation to resurgence of violence and anarchy in Kula kingdom”.
The traditional rulers recalled that though the parcel of land containing the OML-25 was given to Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, by King Oko Royal House and Belema Community as far back as 1980, up till now there is no meaningful development in the host communities.
This, they said, was because the company had in the past 38 years of oil exploration in the area refused to implement Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) signed between it and the communities on December 30, 2005 and February 13, 2014 respectively.
They said there have been no meaningful development in health care delivery, education, economic empowerment and infrastructure and others in the communities due to the refusal of SPDC to implement the MoU.
They further queried the sudden interest of Wike to resolve issues over the OML-25 which was shut down just two years ago, when the Governor never intervened on the Ogoni oil flow station shutdown which has been shut down for over 26 years.
The traditional rulers call on the Federal government and all security agencies to prevail on the Governor Wike to have a rethink in his approach and intervention of the OML-25 to avoid protracted crisis between the Host Communities and SPDC.