Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Friday said he is fully prepared for legal battle against ExxonMobil.
Wike, who spoke while addressing a press conference at Government House, Port Harcourt, opined that Rivers state cannot leave corporate bodies who violated the state’s lockdown order to go free, whereas, petty traders like Akara and Groundnut sellers are charged to court for same violation.
Reassuring his people of his unflinching commitment in protecting lives and properties, Wike said he does not take orders from anybody, noting that he would do everything to stem the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Recall that about 22 offshore staff of Exxon Mobil were Thursday night arrested by Rivers State Government for illegally entering the state amidst lockdown order.
Report has it that 21 of the workers are members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, while the remaining staff is the company’s Chief Security Officer, CSO.
Reacting, Wike said; “Yesterday, it was ExxonMobil that brought 22 people into Rivers State. Although, service commanders, including the Commissioner of Police, are pleading that we should allow them to return to Uyo. I know their predicament because they take orders from Abuja.
“But, this one, I will fight this one. I have told the Attorney-General to prepare; we are going to Court against them. We will fight this fight legally. ExxonMobil cannot bring in 22 people illegally into Rivers State.
“ExxonMobil does not operate in Rivers State. They only make use of the Onne Port. We are not sure of the health status of the people they brought into the state because they can enter Eleme and Onne communities.
“We cannot leave corporate bodies who are not obeying the laws while akara and groundnut sellers are being charged to Court in Lagos. This ExxonMobil matter will expose those in Abuja. I am ready for them. Rivers State is not a pariah state and we will not be.”
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