By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned the Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River and his counterpart in Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi to a meeting later this month over the lingering boundary crisis between both states which have resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of property worth millions of naira.
The people of Adadama in Abi local government area of central Cross River State have been at war with their neighbors in Azuoffia Edda community in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi state for over a decade now with the value place on the destruction crossing the billion mark long ago security sources say.
And, Vanguard Newspapers reports that Mr. Umahi while addressing stakeholders at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House in Abakaliki on Friday during a meeting convened by the state to deliberate on the disputed land between Enyigba in Abakaliki Local Government Area and Echialike in Ikwo Local Government Area of the state said that the summon came during his meeting with President Buhari last week in Abuja.
He is said to have told the President that Ebonyi would go to war with Cross River State if the Federal Government failed to summon the governors of the two states to a reconciliatory meeting to resolve the lingering boundary dispute.
“During my interaction with Mr. President a few days ago, I told him that Ebonyi would go to war with Cross River State if the two governors were not called together by the Federal Government to resolve the crisis,” Umahi said.
But, this could not be independently verified by CrossRiverWatch on Tuesday as government offices where official correspondence is received were closed as part of the activities marking the worker’s day celebration.
However, Governor Umahi is said to have expressed dismay at the lingering boundary dispute despite measures put in place by the state government to resolve the dispute.
The last meeting between the trio of Ayade, Umahi and their counterpart in Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel summoned by the then acting President Yemi Osinbajo in March 2017 is said to have ended in deadlock which left the Governors storming out of the Aso Rock Villa with long faces.
Also, Umahi had alleged that Mr. Ayade is rebuffing his peace moves while a former state lawmaker, Mr. Alex Irek accused Mr. Ayade of negligence; which he said was the reason for the lingering crisis between Osopong community in Obubra local government area in central Cross River and Izzi local government area of Ebonyi state.
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