By Egufe YafugborhiClark
PORT HARCOURT—IJAW Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has appealed to Governor Nyesom Wike to support the faction of Belema and neighboring communities in their relentless protest aimed at evicting Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, from Oil Mining Lease, OML, 25 in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of River state.
The protesters among the host communities have occupied OML 25 key assets and shut in production for over two years running, but Governor Wike in a truce initiated June this year brought other key leaders of the communities and Shell to a roundtable, resulting in an agreement signed July 1 by parties to reopen the shut assets.
Reacting to the governor’s move as the occupation of the assets continues, Chief Clark urged Wike to rather support the eviction SPDC which only recently won Federal Government’s renewal of its operator-ship of the OML 25.
Clark said, “Belema people are his (Wike) own people. If his people are still agitating, it is not in his place to fight the people or cajole them. You can’t threaten the people. Look after them. So I am appealing now that Governor Wike should take it easy with the people.
“He should not be angry with them. They are not opposed to him. They are opposed to Shell. The governor as Chief Security Officer of Rivers should tell FG to leave this thing (OML 25) for Belema people. Whatever is produced in Belema would increase the revenue of Rivers State and employ more people of Rivers.”
Wike, since brokering the July 1, truce between Shell and the OML 25 host communities has maintained that his sole interest in the matter was peace for whoever holds the lease to operate and improve the economy of Rivers for the benefit of Rivers people.