Bayelsa State lawmakers move to end Nembe, Kalabari boundary clashes
The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has taken steps to end the lingering boundary disputes between the people of Nembe in the state and Kalabari in Rivers State.
The lawmakers passed two resolutions, which urged the state government through relevant agencies to work with members of the National Assembly from the area and the National Boundary Commission to quickly resolve the boundary disputes.
The Assembly asked the government to immediately deploy security personnel to Oluasiri area of Nembe and adjoining riverine communities, to protect the people from frequent attacks by armed men from Rivers State.
The resolutions followed a motion raised by Mr. Iniyobiyo Obiene representing Nembe constituency 3 in the Assembly and unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
Obiene said the hostilities in the disputed area had led to loss of lives, adding that residents now live in fear of intimidation and frequent harassment.
The lawmaker said efforts must be made to resolve the border disputes between Oluasiri and Soku communities, who had lived as neighbours for decades.
According to him: “Recently, during the phase II of the Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise conducted by the National Population Commission, in Nembe Local Council 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.
“If nothing is done urgently, the ugly scenario will replay itself in the census proper scheduled to take place in 2018.″
In another development, the Speaker of the Assembly, Konbowei Benson has reacted to reports that the House did not hold a public hearing and consult widely before passing the state Education Tax Bill recently signed into law by Governor Seriake Dickson.
The Speaker said relevant committees held public hearings and reached out to key stakeholders to get their input into the bill.