By CrossRiverWatch Admin
When President Muhammadu Buhari met yesterday behind closed doors with state governors and heads of security agencies at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, only one state was not represented and that is Cross River state.
The meeting, as Guardian reports, was in connection with the prevailing security situation, among other issues besetting the country.
The parley, which began around 11.01am when the President arrived the Council Chamber venue, was also attended by some of the immediate past state governors of all the political parties.
Thirty-five state governors were at the meeting, with Benue represented by the Deputy Governor, as well as the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari.
Governor Ayade who was on an unannounced trip to Norway was the only governor absent from the meeting and also did not send his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu.
The governors, under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), yesterday after the meeting, said they had not taken a common position on the setting up of State Police in the country.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, made the clarification while fielding questions from State House Correspondents.
Fayemi, who was joined by six of his colleagues from the six geo-political zones, stated that while some governors were for State Police because of the peculiar security challenges facing their states, others felt it was not necessary.
He said the NGF would soon take a common position on the matter during the forthcoming National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, adding: “The position of NGF on that is that we have not taken position because experiences vary.”
He disclosed that the $1billion approved from the Excess Crude Account to fight insecurity had been disbursed among the security heads, noting, however, that the amount was not enough to frontally address the myriad of security challenges besetting the country.
Shedding more light on the issue, Fayemi said: “$1 billion may seem like a huge amount of money, and it is a huge amount of money, but when you are dealing with security issues, where a Tucano jet costs over $50million and you are getting about 20, you know how much that is already.”
The NGF chairman, who said the meeting was at the instance of the governors, said it afforded them the opportunity to brainstorm on wide-ranging issues of insecurity, including kidnapping, armed robbery, insurgency and militancy, among others.
It is however unclear why Cross River state was not represented in the crucial meeting when kidnapping, robbery, gang violence and militancy have also taken an upsurge in the state.
Contrary to governor Ayade’s claim that crime rate in the state is at 1.1 percent, events from across the state indicate that there is none of the 18 local government councils that do not have one or several active violent crisis that are either ongoing or just hibernating.
CrossRiverWatch reports from the 18 LGAs in recent years show that:
1. ABI LGA:
Abi LGA is riddled with some of the most intractable communal feuds in the state. The Ediba and Usumutong crisis have lingered without solution.
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.
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:
Almost all the communities in Yakurr are having protracted unresolved communal wars among themselves and their neighbours in Abi and Biase LGAs, which have claimed hundreds of lives.
Gang violence has also remained a recurring decimal in 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 have claimed scores of lives and a village head beheaded.
Chieftaincy tussles in New Netim village of the Odukpani Qua clan have 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.
4. IKOM LGA:
Akparabong community in Ikom and Bendeghe Ekiem in Etung local government area have lingering land crisis.
Okom-Ochorn and Alesi in Ofutop clan of Ikom local government area also have unsettled communal crises.
Alesi in Ikom and Isabang in Obubra local government area also have tussles over farmlands.
And gangsterism has drastically affected nightlife in Ikom.
5. OBUDU LGA:
The Kutia and Okwrotung crisis and well as Kutia and Ukpe conflicts remain unresolved.
The Abonkib community in Obudu urban and the Tivs in Kwande and Vandeikya local governments in Benue state, continue to go to war every farming season.
Gangsterism, robbery and kidnappings have risen to heights never witnessed before in the local government.
6. OGOJA LGA:
Ogoja is still grappling with crises between Okpagada and Mbagede communities versus the Ukpe community over farmland.
There is also upsurge in gang crimes and robberies in Ogoja.
7. OBUBRA LGA:
The Iyamitet and Ababene communal clash has not been resolved.
The Onyadama and Inyima clash is threatening to wipe out Ebo community in Onyadama.
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, still unresolved.
The Ofunakpa Inyimagu in Ebonyi and Nsobo community of Obubra, crisis said to have began in 1984, remains unresolved.
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 aftermath of the Wanihem and Wanikade communal war which saw over 100 killed in 2017, is also lingering.
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 and 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 has claimed many lives and it’s yet to be resolved.
Gangsterism in Boki has also escalated accompanied by petty thievery and robberies.
10. BIASE LGA:
The Ufut and Ikot Ana communal crisis in Biase over farmlands.
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. The aftermath is still festering.
They has also been reported cases of skirmishes between indigenes and herdsmen as well as robberies and gang violence including daring attacks on security agents.
12. AKAMKPA LGA:
Akamkpa also boasts of the crises between Ojor community and Uyagha communities as well as gang violence.
13. ETUNG LGA:
Ajassor and Effraya communities are yet to bury the hatchet over farmland and boundary disputes.
Some armed youths and militants in Bendeghe are also creating violence that has left properties destroyed and several persons dead.
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 Calabar 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 homeland 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.
Militant groups in the area have repeatedly engaged security agents in gun duels.
The feud in Ikot Eyo Ndem also spills into Bakassi LGA.
17. CALABAR SOUTH LGA:
This is the most notorious LGA in the state for gangsterism. 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.
Meanwhile, CrossRiverWatch gathered that the governor has since left Oslo where he was spotted on Friday at the NIMASA exhibition stand at the Nor-Shipping 2019 trade fair which ended yesterday.
The governor is yet to appoint a cabinet so CrossRiverWatch is unable to get a confirmation of his itinerary.
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