Bayelsa Assembly urges executive to tighten security at border to forestall communal clash

Posted by News Express | 13 April 2017 | 4,129 times

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•Bayelsa Speaker, Rt. Hon. Konbowei Benson.

The Bayelsa State House of Assembly on Wednesday urged the executive arm of Bayelsa government to take urgent steps to stop the lingering boundary dispute between the people of Nembe in the state and Kalabari in Rivers.

 

The State Assembly passed a two-point resolution which urged the state government to deploy security agencies to protect communities exposed to frequent attack in its borders with Rivers. 

It further urged the agencies of Bayelsa Government to work closely with members of the National Assembly from the area and the National Boundary Commission to quickly resolve the boundary disputes. 

The lawmakers also directed the executive to mobilise adequate security to the Oluasiri area of Nembe and adjoining riverine communities in the area to protect the people from frequent attacks by armed men from Rivers.

The resolutions followed a motion raised by Mr. Iniyobiyo Obiene representing Nembe constituency 3 in the State House of Assembly and unanimously adopted by the lawmakers as read out by the Speaker, Mr. Konbowei Benson.

Obiene, had told his colleagues that the people of the two oil-bearing communities, Oluasiri in Nembe in Bayelsa and Soku, Kalabari in Rivers were fully aware of the boundary between and wonder why the Kalabari people would want to step out of the boundary.

“Given the fact that Oluasiri, Robert Kiri, Ekulama I, Ekulama II, and their environs are border communities cum settlements that lie the eastern boundary of Bayelsa.

“It is true that these communities are in the volatile area prone to threats and attacks from their Rivers state neighbours even in the presence of security men deployed to the area by their government.

“Regrettably, our government has not been able to send security personnel to the area to ensure protection of lives and property of our people living there.

“This is evident in the kidnapping of one Charles Demi along Oluasuri waterways in December 2012, the destruction and burning of Ijaw-Kiri in the same year, the attack on one Mr. Amaebite Obiene and his colleagues at Sand-Sand village among others,” Obiene stated.

The lawmaker, who said the hostilities in the disputed area had led to loss of lives, expressed the worry that residents live in fear of intimidation and frequent harassment.

His words: “Recently during the phase II of the Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC), in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa state, there were serious security threats.

“As the exercise proceeded to our border communities with Rivers state such as Robert Kiri, Belema I, Belema II, Ekulama I, Ekulama II, Ijaw-Kiri and Soku in the Oluasiri axis, there were attacks on our people which led to serious setbacks on our part.

“Mr. Speaker, if nothing is done urgently, the ugly scenario will replay itself in the census proper scheduled to take place in 2018.”

 


Source: News Express

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