Going by recent developments in our dear land, Ukelle Nation, it is quite easy to develop any impression about the people. While some may be scintillating, others may be colored with some skirmishes of negativity.
But, whichever way one impresses oneself about Ukelle Nation, the people’s identity wouldn’t change from the wonderful and awesome people they have always being from time immemorial.
Sometimes, trans-positional error of perception occurs, not deliberate as one would think, but by prevalence of some unimaginable circumstances at a particular point in time, such as the one experienced in a part of Ukelle Nation recently.
In as much as this write up will not justify whatever perception that run through the minds of our readers out there, it would rather set in the right perspective the identity of Ukelle Nation and its prowess as articulate as possible.
Ukelle Nation is that part of Cross River State located in Yala Local Government Area, sharing common boundaries with two other states; Ebonyi and Benue States respectively.
Massive in geographical landscape, they are spread in two separate regions known as South and North Ukelle, with an intimidating numerical strength. The citizens are blessed with the treasure of same speech (language) community.
For this recognition, they enjoy the luxury of a separate constituency at the state level, which permits them to be also known as Yala constituency II, responsibly represented by an Honorable member at the state House of Assembly.
Armed with academic proficiency, they are in excess possession of the knacks and intellectual wherewithal’s to operate and deliver their wealth of knowledge anywhere in the world if given the opportunity.
At the crown of it, the people maintain robust socio-economic activities that propel their living standards even where government presence is far from them.
However, it may shock you that Ukelle Nation has always being at the receiving end. One would now wonder if their sin is because they are located at boundary areas with other states. This is because Ukelle Nation as an integral part of Cross River State is completely under-developed in terms of rural basic amenities and infrastructures.
Smart recollection here prevails that, in 2005, Ukelle Nation was subjected to a 9 months communal war with Izzi of Ebonyi state because of boundary dispute between Cross River and Ebonyi States.
Absolutely defensive as they were, victory prevailed on them by reason of their wholesome unity across boards. That singular war brought a major part of South Ukelle to its knees in terms progress and development across different endeavors of life.
As strong as they have always being with God’s permission, the once gloomy spot has received a sense of brightness again through the hard work and resilient efforts of the people.
To me, there is no war as fierce as the compulsion of subjecting the people to denigrating standard of life by way of absence of rural electrification, poor healthcare facility, obsolete educational structures, no access roads to major communities, poor market premises, complete absence of human capital empowerment and elusive general infrastructures even when the people are a major stake in the economy of the state.
Interestingly, in response to the clashes that broke out between the Wanikade and Wanihem communities in North Ukelle, the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, alongside the Senator representing Northern Cross River, Senator Rose Oko made a visit to the affected communities where they obtained firsthand information and assessed the level of damages during the war.
I am deeply sure that they wouldn’t say they enjoyed and were in love with the road between Yahe and Wanihem, except they wanted to modify a new version of verbal irony.
As much as I would keep commending and supporting the Governor in the best of effort I can afford for being people oriented and nice to the people, I would request that he sets a blue-print for Ukelle’s development by way of visible infrastructures and collective empowerment of the people.
At the top of it all, let the amiable Governor fast-track the resolution process of the boundary disputes between Cross River and Ebonyi States which is the heritage of Ukelle Nation.
Doing all these, the government must have suppressed and subsequently expunged all forms of wars. This will go a long way to make a positive generational statement for himself and his administration.