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Bayelsa Assembly urges govt. to intervene in border dispute with Rivers

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

The Assembly also urged the state government to deploy security personnel to protect communities exposed to frequent attacks on its borders with Rivers.

The assembly said the government should immediately deploy security personnel to Oluasiri area of Nembe and adjoining riverine communities, to protect the people from frequent attacks by armed men.

The lawmakers said that the government should work closely with members of the National Assembly from the area and the National Boundary Commission to quickly resolve the boundary dispute.

The resolutions followed a motion by Mr Iniyobiyo Obiene, representing Nembe Constituency III, which was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers at its sitting presided over by the Speaker, Mr Konbowei Benson.

Obiene said efforts must be made to amicably settle the border problem between Oluasiri and Soku communities, who had lived as neighbours for decades.

He said that the government must take action to end the dispute, which has been escalating since 2012.

The lawmaker said the hostilities had led to loss of lives, while residents now live in fear due to intimidation and frequent harassment.

“Recently during the phase II of the Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise conducted by the National Population Commission, 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″, Obiene said.

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