By Jonathan Ugbal
Efforts by Nigeria’s acting President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo to quell the issues between warring communities in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States as well as Cross River and Ebonyi states may have been in vain as the three state governors stormed out of the villa wearing long faces after a meeting.
Governors Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Benedict Ayade of Cross River and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi met with Osinbajo Tuesday afternoon and kept mum while hurriedly leaving the Villa wearing long faces which indicates the meeting may have ended in deadlock.
Some traditional rulers from the three states were in attendance with the National Boundary Commission also part of the meeting with the Director General, Dr. Muhammad Ahmad leading the delegation.
The Spokesperson to the Vice President, Laolu Akande later issued a statement which indicates the meeting focused on a “review” of the “updates on boundary and boundary demarcation issues.”
Cross River State is at the center with the war between communities in Yala, Obubra and Abi local government areas and communities in Abakaliki, Izzi and Ezza local government areas of Ebonyi state a recurring theme.
Also, in December 2016, hostilities between Oku-Iboku in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom state and Ikot Offiong in Odukpani, Cross River state began peaking in February with no fewer than 20 left dead and motorists stranded for several hours until soldiers arrived to chase the warring communities.
Several meetings have been held between Cross River and Ebonyi states while the meeting with Akwa Ibom state held last week in Calabar ended in stalemate following the insistence of the Akwa Ibom contingent which opined that the community which fired the first shot and assaulted first be included in the communiqué.
The meeting is to be reconvened next week CrossRiverWatch gathered.