By Obeten Godfrey
The Obol Lopon of Ugep, Obol Ofem Ubana has said that traditional institutions need to be strengthened as a measure to curb the protracted communal conflicts in Cross River State.
The traditional Ruler made this assertion on Sunday while speaking as a guest on a topical issue based program, ‘The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo’ which airs weekly on Hit 95.9 FM where he alleged that many traditional rulers have lost hold of their territories.
Speaking on the topic; ‘Protracted Conflict in Cross River State: Achieving Sustainable and Lasting Solution,’ the traditional ruler also averred that some of his colleagues have lost hold of their territories and the strengthening of these institutions will aid in the curbing of land disputes which have been the major cause of communal conflicts in the state.
“Traditional rulers have lost control of the communities and domains for which they were enthroned to rule over. And this is so because the traditional institution is too weak, and as such need to be strengthened to enable it take absolute control over its territory,” he said.
Obol Ofem also blamed the state’s inability to properly and clearly demarcate inter and intra-state boundaries and suggested that all lands which are subjects of communal crisis be ceded to the government to help reduce the incessant rate of conflicts arising from land.
He averred that: “If government should take ownership of any disputed land, the rate of communal conflicts could be reduced; because the communities involved in the disputes would no longer have anything to fight over.
“These lands in question can either be reserved as government property. It can be government estate or government farms.”
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