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Kalabari Protest In Port Harcourt

Kalabari Protest In Port Harcourt

Kalabari Protest In Port Harcourt

The monarchs, chiefs, elders and other Kalabari people from Akuku-Toru, Asari-Toru and Degema Local Government Areas of Rivers State continued their protests in Port Harcourt yesterday.

The Kalabari protesters, led by the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Gbobo Bobmanuel, in their thousands, clad in black attire, with placards and banners, while chanting war songs, moved from the popular Isaac Boro Park to the Government House, Port Harcourt.

Addressing the protesters’ Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi said the Federal Government, last month, released N17 billion from Soku Gas Plant in Akuku-Toru LGA of Rivers State to Bayelsa State, instead of paying the money into an escrow account, pending the resolution of the boundary dispute.

Chairman of the Akuku-Toru Traditional Rulers’ Council Special Boundary Commission, Chief Emmanuel Awoyesuku-Jack, said the boundary dispute was triggered by ex-Bayelsa Governor Timipre Sylva, when he visited the Soku gas plant.

Awoyesuku-Jack said Soku people and Akuku-Toru Local Government Council, protested Sylva’s visit, which they described as a breach of protocol.

He said: “President Jonathan is personally responsible for the boundary dispute between Rivers and Bayelsa States.”

The three Kalabari LGAs have 1,600 oil wells, while the disputed oil wells produce 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day, while the proceeds, according to the Supreme Court judgment of July 10, should be paid into an escrow account, pending the resolution of the boundary dispute.

A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof. Nimi Briggs, a Kalabari, urged the Federal Government to do the right thing, in the interest of peace and justice.

The lawyer to Kalabari people, Ibim Dokubo, insisted that his people would continue to say no to stealing of their wealth and money and would resist being balkanised, while declaring that the boundary dispute had its origin traceable to the President, when he was Bayelsa’s deputy governor.

Bayelsa State was created out of the old Rivers state on October 1, 1996, during the regime of the late General Sani Abacha.

Yesterday, the Kalabari protesters carried banners some of which read: “Don’t let the Niger Delta boil again. Be warned”, “Jonathan, please rule with the fear of God”, “Kalabari will resist every attempt to divide and steal our land”, “We stand by the 10th administrative map of Nigeria”, “For the sake of peace, return Soku to its rightful owners”, “Don’t divide Akuku-Toru LGA, don’t steal our land and resources, what you sow, you will reap.”

The protesters, through their leader, King Gbobo Bobmanuel, who is the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, at the gate of the Government House, Port Harcourt, presented their protest letter to Rivers Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru.

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