June 16, 2009

Boundary delineation: Opobo leaders appeal to Rivers govt

By George Onah
Port Harcourt— Troubled by the prolonged violence between the people of Opobo/Nkoro and  Andoni community, arising from the non-delineation of the boundary between the two areas, the leadership of Opobo council has appealed to the Rivers State government to intervene immediately so as to bring sanity to the area.

In a passionate appeal by the Chairman of Opobo/Nkoro, Mr. MacLean Uranta, while briefing the press in the town, he said the area had been deprived of worthy development because of the violence that was occasioned by the boundary dispute between both sides.

“Some Chinese investors who came here to invest in businesses that would have created job opportunities for our youths were chased away because of the violence over the boundary”. Uranta said.

To this end, he called on the state government to release the white paper in regard to the boundary delineation  as an urgent step towards solving “this major problem that has robbed us of some developments here.”

Uranta, who chroniclled his achievements after one year in office, recalled the massive destruction of lives and property of the people of his council “when the problem erupted in the 1980s”, stating that pockets of disturbances had not abated since then.

On the growth in the education sector of the council he said poverty and militancy had “dealt a big blow in the education sector”, explaining, however, that a robust policy to shore up the sector had been introduced with scholarship being awarded up to tertiary institutions for the children of the council.

He said the council had embarked on projects to generate revenue in the area of tourism, consequent upon which it had commenced the building of a 45-room three star hotel, to aid in bringing people to the area during its major festivals such as ‘wantam’ and boat regatta.

Uranta regretted that militancy caused “a lot of problem to the citizenry to the effect that some people could not visit their home (Opobo) for upwards of three years, but observed that the JTF and state government had successfully checked the menace.