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Nembe, Kula set for war... Bloodbath imminent in boundary areas

Posted by The Port Harcourt Telegraph on 2005/07/14 | Views: 404 |

Nembe, Kula set for war... Bloodbath imminent in boundary areas


Tension is gradually building up in the boundary areas between Kula community in Rivers State and Nembe in Bayelsa State.

Tension is gradually building up in the boundary areas between Kula community in Rivers State and Nembe in Bayelsa State.

And sources in the area hint the Telegraph that if utmost care is not taken, there may be a bloodbath soon.

At the centre of the impending crisis is the forth-coming boundary verification exercise in the area and what Kula people say is an attempt by the Nembe people to snatch land that has always belonged to them right from the days of the colonial masters.

Already, there are rumours that armed Bayelsans who hail from Nembe have began roaming boundary areas.

Kula shares boundaries with Bassambiri and Odioma. In recent times due to good neigbourliness and migrational patterns the Nembes have come to establish settlements in areas that Kula people say they own.

Kula settlements namely Adumuama, Toniboko, Inomaboko, Inomabio, Owuku, Seriakiri are found by the banks of the Santa Babara River/River Nun.
Adumuama, according to what we have been able to piece together is the footstool of Adumu, the big deity.

Okoma on the other hand is the headquarters of Owuangaiye communities.
Chief Godknows Sara-Igbe told the Telegraph, "These traditional communities cannot be forfeited to any other ethnic group."

Referring to the Nembe settlers on Kula land, Sara-Igbe who said he did not want any war cautioned, "You can't stay in our territory and claim you want to go to Bayelsa"
Apparently, the tussle for the outskirts of Kula is not new. Many years, there was a long war.

History records that the war between Nembe and Kula was fought between 1856 and the later part of 1900.

It took the intervention of the colonial masters between 1926 and 1946 to end the bloody war.

Now, there are signs that fresh hostilities might break out between the two neighbours.

This time, the discovery of oil in the area that Kula says it owns has sharpened the dividing interests that threaten to lead to a conflict.
For months, troops despatched by the Rivers State government have been stationed within the area.

In Bayelsa, especially from the perspective of the Nembe people the move is perhaps a move to hold unto to the territory by force.
But the Rivers government has maintained that the troops are there to halt the nefarious activities of illegal oil bunkers.

The Kula people argue that any one wishing to take land from them should go to court. They say they have records to back their claims to land but say they would not shy away should any one dare to take their land by force. Sara-Igbe urged both the Bayelsa and Rivers governments to help defer the boundary verification exercise to avert bloodshed.

Within Kula, anger is at its peak, worsened by a boat mishap that led to eight deaths including a pregnant woman.

They are bitter that boat owners in Abonnema who make hay from sending in boats late helped to create the stage; and bitter that Andoni fishermen known to set traps that run from the seashore to the middle of the river created the obstacle that sent the boat carrying their people into a sudden somersault that resulted in death.

So far Andoni thatch houses in the area have been burnt.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.