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Land dispute: Armed men invade Rivers community, rape girls

***Mothers protest; lay siege to Khana LG secretariat, Police Area Command, Bori

By Davies Iheamnachor

KHANA—WOMEN of Wiikemaa-Kor community, Bori, Khana Local Government Area, Rivers State, adorning black clothes, besieged the Police Area Command, Bori and council secretariat, last week, protesting alleged invasion of the town and rape of their daughters by armed men from neighboring Wiiyakara community.

Kor community during the protest
Kor community during the protest

The women, joined by the National Association of Kor Students, complained that armed men from Wiiyakara community embroiled in a land dispute with Wiikemaa-Kor community continually stormed their homeland with sophisticated weapons to harass them, burn their houses and destroy their farm lands.

The women and youths first visited the Police Area Command to lodge their grievances before proceeding to the Khana council secretariat.

Chase away from home

Speaking to newsmen at the council secretariat, one of the women leaders, Victoria Echem, complained: “We are here to complain of what is happening in our community. We are being marginalized. They (armed men from Wiiyakara) have chased us away from our community, they destroyed my building and they are in the habit of raping our girls.

“They use sophisticated weapons to hound us; we cannot sleep in our houses. Since 1982 the government took our land and did not use it. They have not asked us to take back the land, but the people of Wiiyakara invaded the land destroyed our land and crops. We want the government to come to our aid immediately,” she said.

Bloodcurdling weapons

Similarly, the leader of the students’ body, Mr. Baridoo Yerebie, said that Kor community has suffered so much in the hands of Wiiyakara people, lamenting: “Our land was taken way unjustly.

“We are here because of the communal crisis that is about to happen, the people of Wiiyakara invaded our land, disturbing the peace of the people. They raped people, stole our property and destroyed our crops. The kind of guns they are carrying on that farmland is frightening.

“The issue is now beyond our control. We are calling on the government to come to save us because we cannot fold our hands and watch them overpower us and take our land,” he said.

We’ll handle the matter- Council boss

Addressing the protesters on behalf of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Khana local government, Supervisor for Works, Mr. Neeka Idemyor, promised to pay more attention to the matter to avert further breakdown of law and order in the area.

“The council chairman is a man of peace. This matter will be handled immediately. We are aware of what is happening. We are all from Khana, the chairman has also taken steps to ensure that peace is restored.

“The issue there happens on a daily basis, but we thank the people of Kor for the way you have maintained peace and have not retaliated to the attacks that are coming from the other side,” he added.



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