RE: GANI TOPBA’S UNNECESSARY MEDDLESOMENESS IN OML 25 By: Third Oteh

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By virtue of the confidence reposed in the governance of Chief Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike the good people of Rivers State, in one voice, decided to re-elect the governor for a second term in office believing holistically that he will continue to govern dispassionately for the benefit of all Rivers people.

Indubitably, one of the fundamental planks and tripods upon which government stands is public order and security. On this note, it is apposite to examine briefly the timely intervention of Governor Nyesom Wike in the protracted imbroglio and controversy concerning OML 25, Shell Petroleum Development Company and Kula Community.

We may not be able to delve into the entire polemics of the vexed issue at hand but rather it might be instructive to look at the bona fides of the governor’s mediatory and conciliatory moves all in a bid to cement ordre public, law and order and an atmosphere that will encourage a burgeoning economy for the Federal, State and Local Governments in Nigeria.

To this end, Governor Wike invited the variegated spectrum of stakeholders embroiled in this OML 25 controversy with a view that SPDC can resume production to the benefit of all and sundry. I am reliably informed that three high-powered meetings were brokered by the governor that led to an agreement which was deposed to by all aggrieved parties to the lingering controversy.  The good people of Rivers State heaved a collective sigh of relief.

In stark contradistinction to the good-hearted mediation of Governor Nyesom Wike, a son of the State of Ogoni extraction elected to fuel the embers of disunity and dissidence by threatening publicly that he will mobilize at least 7000 Ogoni women to join other Kula women to continue their protest which is geared towards chasing SPDC out of Kula, while an indigenous company led by their son can take over.

In as much as local content development in the oil and gas sector ought to be encouraged, it should not be encouraged in stark violation of the extant laws of the country. Germane questions spring to mind when the issue of OML 25 comes up. Who owns the oil field? Who drilled for or prospected for oil in OML 25? Who is licensed to operate on OML 25? Which company is recognized as the bona fide owner of OML 25?

Parenthetically, the likes of Chief Gani Topba need to be reminded that the Federal Government of Nigeria whose protection, he is courting and citing, leased OML 25 once again to SPDC for another 25 years.

Another poignant question begging for answers from the curious public is, what is motivating Chief Gani Topba to mobilize 7000 Ogoni women to demonstrate on an SPDC platform in Kula? Who are the sponsors of Chief Gani Topba? Who is taking responsibility for the conveyance of Chief Gani Topba’s imaginary 7000 women to an SPDC oil platform close to the Atlantic Ocean?

In the words of Edmund Burke “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” it is for this singular reason that the Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Emeka Woke riled by the tissue of lies and misrepresentations which Chief Gani Topba was reeling out through the respected medium, Rhythm 93.7 necessitated his intervention on that fateful Saturday, 27th July, 2019.

When you remove the mystique and metaphysics of government you are likely to see all manner of characters, some are lily-livered, some are genteel, some cannot brook or tolerate the willful and malicious attempt by sponsored and self-serving, elements to cast aspersions, besmirch and thingify the valiant efforts at peace building which Governor Nyesom Wike epitomizes. Chief Emeka Woke, the Chief of Staff, Government House can be taxonomised into this latter group. bears recalling that Chief Emeka Woke by virtue of his office, stands at the vortex and fulcrum of the strident peace building overtures and rapprochement which Governor Wike has effectuated with relative poise and equanimity as it regards the knotty issue of OML 25.

This writer feels strongly that it might amount to a serious dereliction of duty both to the good people of Rivers State and the leader of government for Chief Emeka Woke to sit idly by while some uncharitable and curious elements like Chief Gani Topba will assume the role of the incendiary, with intent to feather his nest, promote dissidence and fuel crisis in a relatively peaceful Rivers State.

Chief Gani Topba, his ilk and his sponsors are advised to tow the path of peace, ordre public and development by keying into the commendable peaceful overtures and climate of détente which Governor Nyesom Wike has orchestrated with the noble intention of attracting peace and development.

Historical anecdotes indicate that when Ancient Rome was burning and smouldering in flames, Emperor Nero was watching from his palace in all curiosity, remarking that, it is lonely to be an emperor. Is this the poise and position, votaries and avatars of incendiaries and rabble-rousers want government officials to take, while Rivers State burns?

Judging from the passionate speeches of Chief Gani Topba, he is possessed with a lot of energy. However, he is better advised to channel his surfeit of energy to more productive purposes and see how he can work in synergy with the agents of Rivers State government to build a peaceful, virile and prosperous state.

For one to aver that the dissidence, negative energy and discord being encouraged and disseminated by the likes of Chief Gani Topba runs counter-productive to the peace-building overtures of the Rivers State government is for one to belabour the obvious.

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