by crossriverwatch admin
The Chairman of Abi Local Government Council Mrs Edith Amadi has asserted that peace would not be compromised in any part of the council area.
Mrs Amadi made the assertion recently in an interface with aggrieved communities in Abi Local Government in her office in Itigidi, the council Headquarters.
Still in search of lasting peace in the council area, the engagement of the agitated communities in Abi was in a bid to lay to rest all disputes in the local government area.
The Chairman, who lamented the protracted crisis between the Ebom and Ebijakara communities, reiterated her resolve to ensuring that all communities in Abi stayed crisis free within and beyond her tenure in office, stressing that there was no alternative to peace which according to her was germane to growth and development.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the Chairman on Peace and Security Dermoth Akpoke Eja regretted that the crisis which has defied peaceful resolution for 8 years despite efforts by state government and successive council administrations, was gravely contributing to the absence of visible government’s presence in terms of projects in both communities.
He sued for tolerance, understanding and sincerity of purpose amongst the communities so as to help bring an end to the crisis which he lamented was becoming an embarrassment to the council area despite previous efforts to bring peace to the warring communities.
In their respective submissions, delegations from both communities observed that the prolonged crisis was near its end while submitting also that peace was the only option in sight.
The Ebom/Ebijakara communities agreed to a truce which they said was expedient to enable both communities forge ahead with the rest of Abi Local Government Area.
Although the communities pointed out some contentious issues which according to them were critical to peace and reconciliation, they however called on the state government not to rush the peace process but rather take concrete steps towards addressing the grey areas for lasting peace to return to the communities as they were already tired of the lingering crisis.
Grey areas identified by both communities include contact and unfettered access to and from both communities; Buffer zone or Corridor; Boundary adjustment as well as the issue of resettlement of the displaced people from both communities.
Present at the Meeting were Arc Robert Owuru, Dr Charles Iwara, HRH Ovai Egbe Uzong Egu, Elder Francis Eremi, Asodor Nkani Egbevi as well as Etta Solomon Enyi who represented the Ebijakara community.
The delegation from Ebom includes HRH Henry N Bassey, Elder Chief Ogbenyi Egbe, Elder Egwu I Igiri, Egwu J.J, Dr Ben Ohen and the Councillor representing both communities in the Abi Legislature, Hon Wilfred Inah.
In a related development, the Chairman of council Hon Mrs Edith Amadi has appealed to the Ediba and Usumutong communities to maintain status quo until government finds a lasting solution to the crisis between them.
He made the appeal in her office in Itigidi recently, as she received the delegation from Usumutong community who had come to make suggestions and submissions towards finding end to the crisis.
The Chairman who expressed dissatisfaction that the Ediba community boycotted the scheduled meeting which would have given them opportunity to further reinforce their claims or position on the matter, however expressed optimism that every pending crisis in the council area would be amicably resolved in no distant.
The Ediba community through a petition from its counsel Essien H Andrew & Co to the State House of Assembly which copied the Chairman of Abi Local Government Council explained that contentious issues which emanated from the latest skirmishes and perceived as regressive to the achievement of peace between the two communities must be first addressed.
Members of the delegation from Usumutong were HRH Elder Ovai S.O Edward, the HRH Ovai Augustine O Ebina, Pastor Joseph Omokwe, Usani Sam Bassey, Dr Aribo Ekpe Okpata as well as the councillor representing Usumutong in the Council Legislative House, Hon Mrs Ekaette Sunday Osim.
All aggrieved communities and joined parties are expected to appear before the House of Assembly on Monday 24th March, 2014.
It would be recalled that the State House Assembly on Monday 17th March, 2014 had summoned all warring communities in Abi as well as the present council chairman Hon Mrs Edith Amadi and past Chairman of council from 2008 in a bid to put a stop to communal disputes in the Local Government Area.
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