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Insecurity: Traditional Rulers Laud Wike Over Comments On Shell

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike

The Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers (KSCTR) in Akuku-Toru local government area of Rivers State, has commended Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, for attributing the rise insecurity in the state to the activities of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

Wike had while receiving the Charge D’Affairs, Embassy of Netherlands at the Government House, Port Harcourt, accused SPDC and other oil companies of encouraging cultism and insecurity through Pipeline surveillance contracts.

The governor said: “Shell is part of the major culprits. Shell divides communities to make sure that the people don’t work together. Shell don’t want to implement memorandum of understanding signed with communities.”

However, the KSCTR, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by it’s Chairman and Secretary, King Kroma Amabibi Eleki and King Bourdillon Ekine Oko, respectively, described Wike’s comments on the multinational oil company as an ‘undisputed fact’.

The statement reads in part: “Your Excellency Sir, we also wish to commend you for boldly stating the obvious that Shell is responsible for the crisis rocking oil producing communities in the state.

“Your comment at the Government House during the visit of officials of the Netherlands High Commission to Nigeria, that Shell has a history of promoting insecurity, disunity and disharmony among its Host Communities is an undisputed fact.

“We also subscribe to your comment that Shell has a long history of non-implementation of Global Memorandum of Understanding with its Host Communities.

“This statement by your Excellency, has vindicated our position against Shell operation of OML-25 Flow Station in the Kula territory for almost 4 decades with nothing to show for its presence in the area.

“We wish to reiterate that the Host Communities of OML-25 have been totally neglected, impoverished and enslaved by Shell despite hosting an oil facility that produces over 45,000 barrels of crude oil per day and 135,000 metric tones of gas per day as well as contributing billions of oil revenue to the federation account.

“There are no basic amenities such as Access Road, Potable Water, Electricity, Hospital, School, Landing Jetty, Employment etc. in the Host Communities of Belema, Offoin-Ama, Ngeje, Okoama and others of Kula Kingdom who have hosted Shell for over 39 years.

“What Shell does is to sponsor some renegades amongst us to oppose and subvert our common struggle for emancipation from the inhumanity of Shell.

“Sir, your statement that Shell is encouraging insecurity in its Host Communities by patronizing cultists for surveillance jobs has vindicated our earlier position that Shell is recruiting some Niger Delta youths as thugs under the guise of federal surveillance guards to forcefully vacate our women and children from the OML-25 Flow Station to resume operation in the area in disregard to ongoing efforts by the NNPC to resolve the protracted oil dispute between the company and the Host Communities.

“In the light of the foregoing, we wish to draw the attention of the Governor to an unholy alliance between Shell and some officials of his government and a contractor handling a land reclamation project by the state government in Kula Community who parades himself as purported paramount ruler of OpuKula Community.

“These selfish individuals are colluding with Shell to create more problem in Kula Kingdom and distabilize the area.

“We therefore request your Excellency Sir to call these persons within your government to order as their actions are not only against the peace and development of Kula Kingdom but also against the good intentions of your Excellency as well as the policy thrust of the Rivers State government.

“Furthermore, we also use this medium to draw the attention of his Excellency and inform that the Akuku-Toru Local Government Chairman Roland Sekibo is colluding with Shell to work against the interest of the Host Communities of OML-25.

“We have been reliably informed from an impeccable source that Shell has mobilized him to set up a committee at the Council and take other unlawful steps to pave way for Shell to forcefully resume operation in the area not minding the consequences this may cause.

“We therefore appeal to his Excellency to call the Council Chairman of Akuku-Toru Roland Sekibo to order.”

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