Nigeria: OML25 - Steer Clear of Closed Oil Field, Rivers Communities Caution Wike

21 June 2019

Port Harcourt — Belema, Offoin-Ama and Ngeje communities in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, yesterday, in Port Harcourt cautioned Governor Nyesom Wike not to meddle in the issues of the closed OML 25.

The communities, which play host to OML25 operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, noted that the matter of the closure of the oil field was before the presidency, noting that the communities would boycott the planned meeting.

Recall that the three communities had two years ago shut operations at OML25 over alleged abandonment of social corporate responsibility and neglect by SPDC.

Alabo Fiala Okoye-Davies, spokesperson of Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers, and Secretary of Belema Council of Chiefs, disclosed that the state government has plans to hold a meeting on June 22, on how to reopen OML 25.

Okoye-Davies noted that no stakeholder in the area was invited for the said meeting, adding that those invited were not members of the host communities of OML25.

He said: "It is with great sense of responsibility that we hold this press conference to call the attention of Governor Wike to the meeting slated to hold on June 22, 2019 inviting the host communities of OML25 via the Office of the Secretary to the State Government pertaining the shutdown of Belema flow station.

"We wish to state that key players and rightful leaders of the communities were not invited to the said meeting. Rather, some persons invited for the meeting are not members of the host communities of OML25.

"This 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."

Okoye-Davies wondered what the interest of the governor was in the matter, advising him (Wike) to stop the interference.

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