Whither The Most Peaceful State In Nigeria? BY AGBA JALINGO

In Breaking News, Columnists, National News, Opinion, Politics, Reports

By CrossRiverWatch Admin

Looking at the entire stretch of our state Cross River, and the preponderance of communal crises and gangsterism, I will continue to argue that, rather than romanticizing that doubtful status as the most peaceful state in Nigeria, we should now face these crises, map them and try to find sustainable ways of solving them and taking succor to the affected communities.

Let’s do a brief chronicle across the 18 LGAs.

1. ABI LGA:

Despite producing a governor for 8 years, Abi LGA is riddled with some of the most intractable communal feuds. The Ediba and Usumutong crisis have lingered without solution. Since both communities began their skirmishes decades ago, no sustainable solution has been proffered.

The Ebom and Ebijakara crisis saw the Ebijakara community wiped out as not a soul was left at the community by the time law enforcement officers waded in to stop the carnage.

The Amagu in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi state have continued to lock horns with the Adadama people in Abi local government area in a crisis which has been on for decades with a youth corper beheaded in 2014.

2. YAKURR LGA:

The Nko people in Yakurr and Onyadama people in Obubra have reported crises which is always a fallout from the Onyadama and Inyima crises.

Nko and Inyima also have fought a war over land.

The Nko and Mkpani communal war.

The Nko and Ugep crisis which has since died down.

Ugep and Idomi war is also there and is rumored to have begun since 1928.

There is Ugep and Mkpani.

There is Ugep and Ekori.

Ugep and Adim in neighboring Biase local government area as well.

Ugep and Annong in Biase local government area.

Agoi Ibami and Agoi Ekpo.

Agoi Ibami and Mkpani.

Nko versus Agoi Ekpo

Inyima and Asiga communal clashes

Also not forgetting the Asiga and Ekori war.

As well as gangstarism which has been the most recent cause of conflict in Ugep axis of the local government area.

3. ODUKPANI LGA:

Communal clashes between Ntan Obu-Ukpe in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State and Ikpanya Community in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State which saw more than 40 persons killed and a village head beheaded still rages on as tension is still high between both communities.

Chieftaincy tussles in New Netim village of the Odukpani Qua clan has also led to the death of no fewer than 35 persons and is yet to be settled.

There is also the crises between Ikot Offiong in Odukpani and Oku-Iboku community of Itu local government in Akwa Ibom state over land.

Then the herdsmen versus the Eniong Abatim clans of Odukpani local government area.

As well as the disagreement between Ito villages and Eburutu villages over a fertile Odioho piece of land which may soon degenerate into a war if not handled properly.

4. IKOM LGA:

Akparabong community in Ikom and Bendeghe Ekiem in Etung local government area have also fought themselves.

Also Okom-Ochorn and Alesi in Ofutop clan of Ikom local government area have unsettled communal crises.

Alesi in Ikom and Isabang in Obubra local government area also have tussles over farmlands.

And gangstarism which has drastically affected nightlife in Ikom.

5. OBUDU LGA:

The Kutia and Okwrotung crisis has led to the destruction of properties worth hundreds of millions and for the past four years has led to the death of about 10 persons with the war spilling over to neighboring Ohong community.

Obudu also has the Kutia and Ukpe crisis.

The Abonkib in Obudu urban and the Tivs in Kwande and Vandeikya local governments in Benue state clash which rared its ugly head in the early 2000’s has seen both locked in a hide and seek game of recent.

Gangstarism has also become a predominant feature in Obudu with 14 dead, and over 30 arrested since 2014.

Kidnapping, a recent phenomenon in Obudu has decreased in the past 2 months with no fewer than 24 suspects arrested in relation to more than 10 successful kidnappings between 2015 till date.

6. OGOJA LGA:

Ogoja is still recovering from the Okpagada and Mbagede communities versus the Ukpe community crisis over farmland.

The kingship tussle between Ogboja and Ishiborr may also likely degenerate to a full blown crises if not managed properly.

The upsurge in gangstar related crimes and petty thievery in Ogoja have claimed over a dozen lives in the past 4 years.

7. OBUBRA LGA:

The Iyamitet and Ababene communal clash saw their women recently protesting the incessant fighting.

The Onyadama and Inyima clash recently saw the Ebo community in Onyadama almost wiped out.

There is also the fighting between Azuofia-Edda community of Abakaliki local government area of Ebonyi state and the Ofomana, Ogwurude (Ekori), Ofonama, Okinbogha, Ogamana, Ovurokponu, Okpechi, Ofenagama, Eja, and Ijutum communities in Obubra with the most recent still ongoing.

The Ofunakpa Inyimagu in Ebonyi and Nsobo community of Obubra crises said to have began in 1984.

The Iyamitet and Adun communal crisis with the most recent caused by the death of a pastor and his wife.

8. YALA LGA:

The Tivs in Konshisha local government area of southern Benue state and the Otukpo, Oripua, Adikpo in Gabu clans and Osina, Aliforkpa, Wonye, Uchu as well as Ijiegu all in Yache community of Yala local government area in Cross River State have been at loggerheads over farmland.

The recent Wanihem and Wanikade communal war also saw over 100 killed between June 29 and July 3 in Ukelle, Yala.

The crises between Igbeagu in Izzi local government area of Ebonyi state and the Yala/Ntrigom communities in Ukelle, has been on for years with over 150 people killed with properties valued over NGN200 million destroyed.

9. BOKI LGA:

The Boje and Nsadop communal clash which has been on and off for years with the youths blamed for the most recent in 2016.

The Borum Palm Estate crisis allegedly fueled by the current Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Tina Agbor and the Special Adviser Administration, Mr. Mark Obi which has claimed over 6 lives.

Gangstarism in Boki has also escalated accompanied by petty thievery and robberies.

10. BIASE LGA:

The Ufut and Ikot Ana communal crisis in Biase has left scores dead over a piece of farmland.

Adim and Idomi in Yakurr local government area have also had reasons to go to war.

11. OBANLIKU LGA:

The crisis between Busi 1, Busi 2, Busi 3, Busi 5, and Busi 6 against Busi 4 community left scores dead with properties razed.

They has also been reported cases of skirmishes between indigenes and herdsmen.

12. AKAMKPA LGA:

Akamkpa also boasts of the crises between Ojor community and Uyagha communities. In the last clash in 2016, over 100 students were rescued.

13. ETUNG LGA:

Ajassor and Effraya communities have also gone to war over farmland and boundary.

Some armed youths and militants in Bendegheare also creating violence that has left properties destroyed.

14. BEKWARRA LGA:

Herdsmen from Benue state have also clashed with farmers in Gakem community with recorded deaths.


15. AKPABUYO LGA:

Akpabuyo like most of the LGAs in the southern flank of the state is riddled with militancy, off shore piracy and criminality.

Most of the kidnap victims in the state are usually housed in the Akpabuyo creeks by their abductors and it has also been a theater of gun battles between miltitants and security agencies.

They also have recorded communal conflict in Ikot Eyo Ndem.

16. BAKASSI LGA:

The people of Bakassi have become refugees in their home and some are even stateless and homeless. The LGA leadership both, the executive and legislative arms, operate from Calabar allegedly due to fear of militants who control swathes of the council.

The Bakassi Strike Force, a militant group in the area has repeatedly engaged security agents in gun duels.

The feud in Ikot Eyo Ndem also spilled into Bakassi LGA.

17. CALABAR SOUTH LGA:

This is the most notorious LGA in the state for gangstarism. There is hardly anyday that passes without news of one murder, robbery, kidnap or gang violence in Calabar South with even daring broad day light robberies becoming common place.

Here life can be cut short without notice and it has forced the government to relocate the office of the state anti crime outfit “Operation Skolombo” to the area to contain the violence.

18. CALABAR MUNICIPAL COUNCIL:

This is the city center yet still struggling with the normal urban crimes including violent robberies and kidnappings.

The Ikpai and some Ikot Ansa clans in the Municipal are also in court over land dispute and the issue also has the capacity to conflagerate if not properly handled.

But in the main time, it is difficult to pin point the particular parameters that qualify our state as a peaceful state, talkless of most peaceful.

Methinks the most crucial thing to do is to recognize that, nearly, the entire state is facing one form of violence or the other and begin to find sustainable solutions.

Several young Cross Riverians like Wofai Ewa have offered their very profound suggestions and are willing to stake their time and resources to solve these issues.

Government should employ such offers and experts from civil society to begin to go into the field and debrief our people as well as giving them a compass to a truly peaceful Cross River state.

God bless the people’s paradise!

Agba Jalingo is a journalist and Publisher of CrossRiverWatch

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