Blessing Iruoma, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Government has stated that it would not allow any part of the state to be balkanised or annexed under any guise.
The state’s deputy governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, stated this when she received a delegation of Ogbakor Etche at the Government House, in Port Harcourt, recently.
According to the deputy governor, Etche communities wrongly placed in Imo State on the 10th edition of the Administrative map of Nigeria would be corrected.
She stressed that the Governor Wike-led administration’s commitment to protect the interest of the Rivers People is not negotiable.
According to her, “I want you to assure your people, that they should just stay calm. There is a matter in court on this boundary issue, a matter instituted by the Rivers State Government against the Imo State Government on this and the matter is progressing, so you don’t need to entertain any fear”.
She said by dialect, geographical, socio-cultural and political affinity the People of Etche Ethnic Nationality are Rivers People, adding that the 10th edition of the map ceding some parts of Etche to Imo State was an ill-fated and erroneous publication.
She expressed gratitude to the People of Etche Ethnic Nationality for supporting the Governor Wike-led Administration in the State.
Earlier, the President-General of Ogbakor Etche, Charles Nwonuala, informed the deputy governor that the people of Etche were not happy with the wrong placement of some communities in the 10th edition of the administrative map of Nigeria and appealed that the Rivers State Government should take up the challenge to protect the communities.