Army brokers peace between warring Ebonyi, Cross River communities

The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu has brokered a deal to ensure peace among warring communities in Ebonyi and Cross River over land.

Army

Newsmen report that Azuoffia Edda Community in the Abakaliki Local Government Area (LGA) in Ebonyi and Ojuitim Community in Obubra LGA in Cross River have been locked in deadly communal clashes over the years because of land.

Similarly, Ochienyim Community in Ikwo LGA of Ebonyi and Adadama Community in Abii LGA of Ebonyi are also locked in unending bloody clashes over land for agriculture.

The clashes have claimed scores of lives with property worth millions of naira destroyed on both sides.

Efforts by security agencies and stakeholders over the years to resolve the problem have failed to end the problem.

In a communiqué after the peace meeting, presided over by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the division, Maj.-Adamu Abubakar, the warring parties resolve to cease hostilities.

According to the communiqué, representatives from both sides accepted to comply with the directive of the GOC directing the 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Calabar, to create access routes for the warring communities to relate freely.

Dr Kenneth Ugballah, the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor of Ebonyi on Internal Security, who led the Ebonyi delegation, told NAN after the meeting that the peace deal would be sustained.

He said that the peace meeting lasted for more than five hours with emphasis placed on measures that would ensure that peace returned to all communities, especially those along border areas.

Ugballah noted that the meeting resolved to inaugurate a seven-man committee from both sides to serve as an internal peace committee to meet twice monthly on the land dispute issues.

“The subsequent 14-man joint peace committee would in turn, meet once in two months to ensure that the peace process is sustained and a permanent solution to the problem achieved.

“The National Boundary Commission was directed to be more proactive in resolving the disputes with the governors of both states.

“The meeting lauded governors of both states for their efforts in permanently resolving the problem, with security agencies mandated to identify miscreants, who perpetrate mischief that truncates all peace processes,” Ugballah said.

The GOC declined to speak to reporters after the meeting, saying however, that the meeting was a peace gathering to resolve the land disputes between the affected communities.

NAN

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