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3yrs after invasion: Residents scared to return to Rivers community

By DAVIES IHEAMNACHOR

OGONI—THREE years after the people of Kporghor community, Tai Local Government Area, Rivers State, were sacked from their homeland allegedly by armed youths from Ogu/Bolo over land tussle in 2014, many villagers have refused to return, while returnees live in mortal fear.

Reports said that many residents were killed, houses and schools destroyed in the mindless attack.

Kporghor villagers and KSWA officials after the sensitisation
Kporghor villagers and KSWA officials after the sensitisation

Why villagers don’t want to come home – CDC chair

Community Development Chairman, CDC, Kporghor community, Revd. Charles Ndem, who spoke to NDV on the development, asserted that residents have refused to resettle in the community due to fear of another invasion by the attackers, who threatened to return.

“We are still afraid. Most of our people are still living in the nearby communities. Nothing is really happening in this community. The attack on us was too much. We have been abandoned by politicians and traditional rulers. Nobody remembers our plight.

“We call on the government and other relevant authorities to establish a police station in our community so that our people can return fully. We also need relief materials to start life afresh because we do not have anything again,” he said.

According to him, “We also request the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to direct our brother who is working with them to provide help for us.”

We are determined to resettle – Spokesman

Community spokesman, Mr. Nubari Sam said the invaders actually warned that they would strike again if the indigenes returned to the settlement, but insisted that it is their homeland and they would not run away.

“Nobody will take our land from us. They threatened us that we will not resettle till 50 years, but we said no. Today, we are struggling to resettle as a community.

“They came and killed many of our relatives. They destroyed our buildings, but we that are still alive are resolute that we must resettle.“

Schools shut down

Nubari disclosed: “Our schools have been closed since the invasion. No school is functioning again. Our children go to school in neighbouring villages and communities. We call on the government to help us in that regard. The school buildings are just like that without facilities.”

KSWA donates cash to revive local economy

Meanwhile, Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates, KSWA, has donated N50,000 each to 20 women in the locality to start petty trading.

National Coordinator of KSWA, Chief Gani Topba, who made the donation during a visit to the community to ascertain the state of affairs, expressed hope that the money would help to restore economic life in the area.

Topba expressed sadness that the people were not given due attention by relevant agencies, and called on government to speedily address the plight of the people.  


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