Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that no individual would be allowed to compromise the peace of the state.
He stated that his administration will always take decisive steps to promote peace in the state through key interventions in crisis-prone areas.
He spoke on Thursday during a meeting between Shell Petroleum Development Company ( SPDC) and Mgbuesilaru Community of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area at the Government House Port Harcourt.
He said: “My interest is peace in my state. Whatever will bring peace, that is where we will stand. Whoever is causing problems, the state will take it up with that person”.
The Governor said that in Kula community, he has no business with Shell Petroleum Development Company operating in the area, outside the fact that the Federal Government has renewed their license and an enabling environment must be created for them to function.
He said: “Like I have told the Kula community, I have no business about Shell operating. But if the Federal Government has given Shell the license, I have a duty to make sure that Shell operates.
“If they did not give Shell and they give the license to another person, I have a duty to protect that person. I have no business with Shell. Mine is to do the right thing and to provide the enabling environment.
“Let nobody claim that he has contact in Abuja or elsewhere. I will not shy away from my responsibility to do the right thing “.
Governor Wike said that he took the oath of office to make a majority of Rivers people happy, protect lives and property and develop the state.
“There is no single individual I cannot protect. Whether you are PDP, AAC or APC, it is my duty to protect you. Where things go wrong, I must come in”, he said.
On the Mgbuesilaru conflict, Governor Wike said that he invited the community leaders and SPDC officials to discuss the issues and resolve the dispute.
He said: “Before I became Governor, I do know that there was a problem at Mgbuesilaru community. I learned that an agreement was to be signed and there was a fracas”.
Eze Oha Okporo Okwurusi Clan, Eze Morgan Nwenenda Amadi said that the Mgbuesilaru community and Shell had an issue of outstanding rent, which led to a legal dispute that got to the Supreme Court. He said he was invited as a mediator and eventually worked for an out of court settlement between Shell and the community.
He said that rather than work with the genuine Representatives of the community, Shell politicised the issue and thereafter refused to sign the agreement. He said an attempt to sign the agreement at Hotel Presidential ended in mayhem. He said on June 13th, 2019, the community requested the Obio Akpor local government council to intervene and give the council headquarters for the signing of the Out of Court settlement agreement with Shell. He said that Shell failed to turn up on June 18, 2019, when the community signed the Out of Court settlement.
Eze Amadi urged Governor Wike to prevail on SPDC to honour the out of court settlement and pay the community rent money, which is in arrears of 23 years.
General Manager, External Affairs of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr. Igo Weli said that the only interest of the company is to do what is right.
He said: “We want our place to grow. We want our place to develop. We want everything to be peaceful “.
He said when the rent issue came up, Shell agreed with Eze Morgan Amadi that it would be nice to settle out of court in the interest of the community. He said the company is committed to the peaceful settlement of the issue.