Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has declared that the acquisition of 45 per cent of Shell’s equity stake in Oil Mining License (OML) 11 represents the height of resource control struggle.
He explained that the investment in the oil bloc was geared towards ensuring that the communities in the state get the best from the acquisition of OML 11.
“This government’s strategic investment was also aimed at promoting the interest of host communities and ensuring peace for the operation of the oil facility,” he said.
Wike stated this when the Ogbakor Etche, a socio-cultural group, visited him at Government House Port Harcourt, yesterday, saying it was regrettable that instead of appreciating the state government’s efforts, some Ogoni indigenes chose to criticise the move due to their selfish interests.
“The Rivers State Government wants the interest of our state to be protected. Whoever 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,” he added.
Wike declared that the acquisition of OML 11 was the actualisation of resource control, which the people of the region have been clamouring for over the years and urged the Ogoni people to appreciate the state government efforts in that regard.
“This is resource control, but instead of Ogoni people to thank us, they allow criminals, charlatans say all kinds of things on radio and their leaders pretend 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.
He explained that the Rivers State Government acquired Shell’s equity after the High Court of Rivers state ordered the sale of its stakes already attached as part of the enforcement of the court judgment initiated by the Ebubu Community.
Speaking on OML 25, which licence the Federal Government recently renewed for Shell, Wike accused a businessman from the area of initially claiming that the Federal Government would grant him the license of the facility.
He explained that this later turned out to be a hoax as the said businessman had sponsored falsehood on OML 25 whereas he was merely seeking surveillance and labour supply contracts from Shell.
He promised the Etche people that his administration would always invest in the development of the area, adding that as part of efforts to boost economic activities in Etche, his administration would revive the Delta Rubber Company through a Public Private Partnership.
President-General of Ogbakor Etche, Machy Nwodim commended the state government for acquiring OML 11 and appealed to Governor Wike to take a similar action on OML 17.