Hands off OML 25, Host Communities Warn Wike

Nyesom Wike

Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Host communities of Oil Mining Licence (OML) 25 in Kula Kingdom of Rivers State, have rejected the intervention of Governor Nyesom Wike on the crisis that led to the shutdown of Belema Flow Station.

Wike had summoned a meeting between the host communities and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to end the face-off between the communities and the multi-national oil firm.

The host communities had in 2017 shut down operations of OML 25 over alleged non-implementation of the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), which was signed on December 30, 2005 and February 13, 2015.

Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, the state capital, yesterday, on behalf of the communities, the General Secretary of Belema Community Council of Chiefs, Alabo Finla Okoye Davies, said the issues was being handled by the federal government.

Davies insisted that those invited by Wike to attend the meeting over the shutdown of the flow station were not members of the host communities of the OML 25, adding that the rightful leadership of the communities were not invited.

He said: “We, the host communities have carefully studied the invitation to the meeting and wish to state that the key players and rightful leadership of the communities were not invited to the meeting. “Rather, some communities were not members of the host communities of OML 25.

“That the matter is being handled by the presidency and is currently before the Office of the Vice President for dialogue, negotiation and peaceful resolution, which the Rivers State government is fully aware of.

“That the host communities of OML 25 do not have confidence in the Rivers State government handling the matter as previous administrations of Dr. Peter Odili and Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of which the present governor was part of these administrations, could not resolve.

“That the so-called intervention of the state governor on OML 25 issue is meddlesome as the issue is on the Exclusive List and not on the Concurrent List of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We further view this meeting as an invitation to resurgence of violence and anarchy in Kula Kingdom, which is arguably the most peaceful environment in Rivers State.”