BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI
PORT HARCOURT— EKPORO community in Eleme, Rivers State, has petitioned the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu, to intervene in the lingering land dispute with neighbouring Ogu people in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area of the state, to avert loss of lives and property.
In the petition by Chief Samuel Obe, Paramount Ruler of Ekporo, the community alleged that youths of Ogu, numbering over 200, recently invaded Ekporo, shooting sporadically, while destroying economic trees in guise of clearing a road in the community.
The petition noted that “many inhabitants of Erikpo fled in the face of this onslaught since they (the invaders) were threatening to begin demolition of buildings.”
The community said that the renewed threat by its neighbours stemmed from Erikporo’s protest against recent encroachment and fencing of an estimated 30 hectares and seizure of another 10 hectares of Erikpo communal lands.
It further stated that following Erikporo’s complaint of renewed encroachment months ago, immediate past Rivers State Police Commissioner had summoned parties in the land dispute, directing that none should develop the land until a boundary demarcation exercise was completed by the Rivers State Government.
The petition said: “We also signed an undertaking to abide by the directive. It is disheartening that despite that directive, the people of Ogu continue to build on that land unhindered. Despite our reports to your (police) office in Eleme, nothing seems to have been done.
“Our community was completely destroyed by Ogu community in 1999 and the Rivers State Government White Paper on the development is a testimony to that attack.”