John ODHE, Yenagoa
There are accusations and counter accusations between Koluama Kingdom and Ikebiri communities of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state over alleged invasion of the latter where valuables were allegedly carted away and properties worth millions of naira destroyed.
Ikebiri is pointing accusing fingers at Koluama, alleging that it invaded them over land dispute.
But the Koluama Kingdom Council of Chiefs has denied media reports circulating in Yenagoa based radio stations, claiming that the Kingdom invaded Ikebiri, her neighbouring community and carted away valuables and destroyed properties worth millions of naira.
Reacting to the allegations made by the Paramount Ruler of Ikebiri Community, His Royal Highness Francis Odudu, the Clan Head of Koluama Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Solomon Ebifatei Edi (KOLU XI) appealed to the general public to disregard the allegations.
The king described the allegations as false and baseless, saying Koluama people were law abiding and would never engage take laws into their hands.
According to the monarch, it was the paramount ruler of Ikebiri community, Odudu, who allegedly instigated one Christmas Jerusalem to carry out the invasion on the people and tenants of Otogbene, Obomukorogbene, Sonomadeigbahe-Gbene and other satellite settlements of Koluama territory where properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed sometime in August 2022, thereby threatening the peace of the people.
He further noted that the claims by Chief Odudu were unfounded and misleading, adding that to ensure the peaceful co-existence and mutual understanding of the people, he (King Edi) had on several occasions invited the paramount ruler of Ikebiri and his council of chiefs for a meeting but that they refused to show up.
He further explained that even when a letter of reminder was forwarded to Chief Odudu on the 26th September, 2022, he still went ahead to make the radio announcement where he claimed that the people of Koluama invaded their territory; a story which he said was a calculated attempt to peddle falsehood and blackmail the peace loving Koluama Kingdom.
Debunking the claim made by the Amananaowei of Ikebiri that their forefather (Ike) gave the said land occupied by people and tenants of Otogbene, Obomukorogbene, Sonomadeigbahe-Gbene and other satellite settlements to their father (Kolu), the Clan head of Koluama kingdom pointed out that the claim is not only laughable but that it was clearly documented in a court case report that the territories Chief Odudu is claiming were not part of the judgment where Opuadino is situated.
He therefore assured the public that Koluama kingdom is committed to ensuring that the matter is legally addressed inline with the provisions of the law and called on the Amananaowei of lkebiri and his cohorts to desist from their evil plans, adding that all amount of alliance they form with groups or individuals to formulate fake history to enable them succeed will be resisted.
The King further used the opportunity to call on the Bayelsa State Government, the Traditional Rulers Council and Security Agencies to “take note and call them (Ikebiri community) to order because of the excesses of the paramount ruler of Ikebiri community who derives pleasure in making violence and promoting communal clash with members in his community and neighbouring communities in Southern ljaw LGA, resulting to court cases over time.”