By Kebeh Eteng: Agency Report
Natives of Ukelle in Yala local government area of Cross River State and those of Izzi local government area of Ebonyi state on Tuesday, agreed to a ceasefire deal.
This followed a meeting between both communities at the instance of both state governments.
Youths and traditional rulers at the event swore an undertaking to lay down arms and sealed a ceasefire deal with handshakes and embraces.
Both communities recently renewed hostilities over a piece of land which led to the displacement of many.
And, Cross River acting governor, Professor Ivara Esu while addressing the delegations at the Comprehensive Secondary School premises Mfuma in southern Ukelle wondered why neighboring communities who have lived together as one people for decades, took up arms against one another due to boundary disputes which has led to destruction of lives and property.
He attributed these to expansion, growth and development of individual communities whose elites began exercising their rights about the ownership of the land in which they settle and called on them to always carry out proper research on such issues to avoid preventable crisis.
Mr. Esu said the state was committed to settling communal and boundary crisis and will ensure that, everything is done to put an end to the problems.
These, according to him can be achieved if boundaries were properly delineated and called on the National Boundary Commission, Abuja to urgently carry out the demarcation of the boundaries between the two states and other states bordering Cross River.
The Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Eric Igwe in his remarks said resorting to war as a means of exercising one’s right over piece of land does nobody good as it leads to the destruction of lives and property, as well as permanent enmity with one another.
Despite his principal governor Dave Umahi claiming that Mr. Esu’s boss, Senator Ben Ayade has been rebuffing his peace moves, Igwe maintained that both states have over the years made frantic effort through series of meetings internally and externally to find an amicable solution to the problem.
He charged the people of Izzi and Southern Ukelle to be committed to dialogue as well as negotiation as the two State Governments find a permanent solution to the disputes and appealed to the National Boundary Commission to implement the resolutions of series of meetings and expedite action to the speedy demarcation of the Boundary between the two states.
The Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed said since inception of the colonial era to self rule and creation of then South Eastern and East Central States, the boundaries have remained the same and frowned at the continuous crisis over boundaries between two communities leading to loss of lives and slowing down of economic activities and development.
He scheduled a meeting of the stakeholders between both states on July 11 to resolve all the lingering boundaries disputes in Abuja.
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