Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike says that communities can derive greater gain when they notify the State government of any dispute they may have with oil companies operating in their areas.
Governor Wike observed that most communities take to violence and think it is the best way to get what they want from any company.
The Rivers State governor stated this when members of the Ogba traditional council and stakeholders formally introduced His Eminence, Nwachukwu Obuoha Nnam-Obi, III, Oba of Ogbaland, to the governor at Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday.
Governor Wike stated that the State government would no longer tolerate a situation where communities will block roads, stop operations of companies, and expect the government will intervene on their behalf.
He insisted that communities must first report their grievances to the state government and not resort to taking laws into their hands.
“It is not when you blow up oil pipelines or gas pipelines that you get what you want. No community can do it alone.
“There is nothing wrong with you liaising with the government to make sure companies fulfil their promises and whatever is provided in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). You need the government to give you support.
“Because if you recognise the government, the first thing you will do is to let government know that these are your grievances against the companies operating in your domain.
“It shouldn’t be to go and take action and assume government will come. I will not come. But you get the support if you don’t take the laws into your hands.
Expressing the gratitude of the Ogba people, the Oba of Ogbaland, Nwachukwu Nnam- Obi III, thanked Governor Wike for the pronouncement to recognise him on the throne.
The Oba also acknowledged and thanked Governor Wike for the various development projects executed in Ogbaland and the restoration of peace, particularly in Omoku.