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Failure to dialogue fuels clashes in Ogoni, says Wike

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Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said that failure of the federal government to dialogue with Ogoni people before oil production begins in their area is fuelling clashes in the state.

He disclosed yesterday that he had received a letter from the National Security Adviser (NSA) on the commencement of production at OML 11.

Cult clashes have claimed several lives in Ogoni.

While addressing Ogoni political leaders, traditional rulers and youth groups at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike said the state government was working with security agencies to tackle rising insecurity in Ogoniland and to restore peace.

He has however advised the federal government to engage both the state government and Ogoni people on the OML 11 issue, as dialogue would yield better results.

“I got a letter from the NSA. Part of the problem is OML 11. I have written back to them saying ‘you did not inform me when you were going there. If you want to go into a community, tell me as the governor.’

“I have told the federal government that they cannot use force to do everything. We need to sit down and resolve issues. As a government, we are losing revenue, no doubt; but the people must be involved, so that everyone is part of what is happening.

“I will not support anything that will make Ogoni people not to benefit from their resources. I will not do anything to betray the people who have given me their mandate,” he said.

According to the governor, the community leaders know all those involved in cultism.

Urging the community leaders to assist security agents in their effort to end the menace, he noted his administration’s resolve to go after the cultists, to restore peace in Ogoni communities.

“This time, no effort will be spared. Attention is on the Ogoni area to check the rising insecurity. All through yesterday, the state’s security council met and discussed the best way to tackle the insecurity.”

He warned against the illegal removal of government-recognised traditional title holders by unauthorised persons because such would lead to conflicts that degenerate to insecurity.


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