Posted by Charles Iwuoha, Enugu | 28 June 2018 | 1,755 times
Youths under the aegis of Izzi Nnodo Youth Forum comprising Ebonyi, Izzi and Abakaliki local government areas of the state on Tuesday blamed the lingering inter-communal clash between Igbeagu Izzi people in Izzi LGA and Ukele, Yala LGA of Cross River State on the lackadaisically attitude of of Cross River state and the leadership of the National Boundary Commission, NBC in the country.
Briefing Journalists in Abakaliki, the President Governor Ben Ayade of Izzi Nnodo Youth Forum, Hon. Ben Nwovu, who regretted why the crisis would degenerate to the level it is presently condemned the killing of innocent Izzi people in the affected villages in Izzi LGA of the State.
According to him, the displaced persons were suffering because the intervention by the state government to cushion the effect of the crisis was not enough even as he called of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to come to their aid of the displaced persons in the state.
Nwovu further blamed the National Boundary Commission, NBC, for not responding to boundary issues in the country, noting that if permanent demarcation had been created since the dispute began in 2005, the land disputes between Ebonyi and Cross River would have been a thing of the past.
“I condemn the crisis between Ukele in Cross River State and Igbeagu in Izzi Local Government Area. I condemn it in the strongest terms because such crisis should not arise now. Whatever is the matter, both sides should liaise with relevant authorities to resolve their differences.
“As the President of the clan, I have gone to my people and they have assured me that they will not go for a reprisal attack. But it has become obvious that the people of Ukele cannot allow our people to sleep with their two eyes closed.
“With the recent intervention of the governor of Ebonyi State, we thought the crisis has ended. But immediately the governor left the area, the Cross River people came back to attack them yesterday.
“I am calling on National Boundary Commission (NBC) to come and adjust the boundary. They are the one causing the problem. If they had created permanent boundary between these two communities, the crisis would have been a thing of the past.”
Only yesterday, I heard that the people of Cross River are still having problem with Edda community in Afikpo South Local Government Area. The crisis still borders on boundary. The Boundary Commission should come to the aide of Cross River and Ebonyi State to create a permanent boundary.
“The people of Ebonyi State are claiming that Ebonyi River is the boundary and anytime the Cross Riverians cross to this side, there will be war. So, they should come and make permanent boundary. And if it is done, all these crises will be a thing of the past.
“It’s like the Cross Riverians are in support of that crisis. The Ebonyi State government has invited them for a dialogue, but they have refused to come. So that is the problem.
The same thing happened when there was similar crisis with Okpitumo people, Ebonyi State government invited the governor of Cross River for dialogue, but the governor would always say he traveled. That, I feel is one of the problems.”
The problem is connected to protracted boundary dispute. The other one is also because there is no permanent boundary. If you go to that place, the people are living almost together.
Because there is no permanent boundary, during farming season like this, there is always a problem. One will say the other one has cultivated mine, while the other will also raise alarm and before you know it, it will escalate.
“This crisis has lasted for a long time. The crisis has lasted more than fifty years, because it dated before the independence of Nigeria.
“The displaced people are suffering over there. When I went there yesterday, they were more than five thousand. They are in one of the primary schools far from the area in dispute.
At the same time, I am asking the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to their intervention to save them from disease and hunger. They should come to their aide. I know the state government is doing its best, but it is not enough”.
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