Ebonyi/Cross River boundary Crisis: Over 7000 displaced

Ebonyi/Cross River boundary Crisis… FG moves to end crisis

Ebonyi local government council chairman has revealed that about 7000 persons have been displaced in the ongoing boundary war between the people of Igbeagu in Izzi local government area of Ebonyi and Ukele in Yala local government area of Cross River State.

The Chairman of Izzi,  Hon. Paul Nwogha said the crisis has also led to the killing of indigenes of Igbeagu, while so many houses were destroyed.

Nwogha said this while taking the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Bello Dambazzau, GOC 82 division, Maj. Gen. AB Abubaka and heads of security agencies in Ebonyi state round the affected villages.

Addressing the internally displaced persons, Dambazzau sympathized with them, stressing that the federal government would bring an end to the crisis so that those displaced would be sent back to their homes.

He said that his visit to Ebonyi and Cross River States have given him a clearer picture of the cause of the crisis, adding that both parties involved would sit together and proffer lasting solution to the problem.

He urged Igbeagu people not to go for reprisal, but to leave matters in the hands of God and security agencies.

He stated: “I am here today to access the situation on the ground on what has happened.

” Before now, I have visited the other side that is Cross River where I discussed with the government of Cross River state and

also the security agencies briefed me. After that, I moved to this state Ebonyi and since yesterday when I arrived I have been with His Excellency the Deputy Governor who has briefed me very well after receiving us and I have a very good picture of the situation on the ground from which we will go back and sit down and find a lasting solution to it.

“But I cannot leave without coming to see you the IDPs. As I can see here, the bulk of these victims are women and children and I want to assure you that federal government is not happy about your situation. It is very sad because in this country, there should be free for everybody to leave his life in accordance with the law. And whereby people are displaced from their homes in whatever circumstance, it is not something that will make us sleep well.

“This is why I want to assure that federal government will put heads together with your state to do everything possible to ensure that you are resettled back to your homes and continue your normal life.

“Two, to ensure that what happened will not happen again so that nobody will harass you, nobody will uproot you from your home so that you will continue your normal life. Nobody gains when there is a crisis, any side that thinks he is gaining in this crisis is just deceiving himself because nobody gains.

“Every problem has a solution but we cannot get that solution unless we sit down and work for it. This is not your problem; your problem is to ensure that you remain at peace with your neighbors. But finding the solution to this is our own problem the leaders,  we will sit down and look at it. so, it is our responsibility to ensure that your security is guaranteed.

“I am not happy to see these children displaced, they are not going to school. To see you outside here you are not going to your farms when you depend on that farm to sustain your lives. so, everything we can do, we will do. if it is a matter on the boundary, we will work on that day and night to make sure that we find the solution to it. the solution is there but we must sit down and look for it.

“On your part, I want to urge you to leave this matter in the hands of God, don’t revenge. Don’t do anything, obey the law. Leave matters in the hands of security agencies, we will handle it perfectly. We will do everything possible to ensure that you return to your homes. I want to urge you to be patient”.

The Minister also paid a courtesy call on Governor Umahi at the executive chambers.

The governor expressed optimism that peace between the warring communities was possible, adding that he has made efforts to see if his Cross River State counterpart could cooperate,  but to no avail.

He said that after the peace talks on July 2, some people from Igbeagu misbehaved and that he ordered for their arrest and they have been in detention till the visit of the Minister.

He appealed to Dambazzau to direct police in both states to cooperate so as to stop the killings and destruction of properties.

Umahi also advocated for the creation of state police, stressing that it would help to tackle Fulani herdsmen menace and other security challenges bothering the country.

He doubted that NBC has the constitutional powers to undertake the demarcation of the boundaries as it wished to.

” Boundary delineation is not fully spelled out that if NBC put a beacon and say this is the boundary, it becomes a boundary. I don’t know if they have such powers. But I want to suggest strongly under the influence of the GOC and our security agencies, we have what is called the instrument lines, we have what we call the Ebonyi clines and Cross River clines, the same thing in Benue. So I suggest we do everything possible to fix this instrument lines as well as the lines of different states.

“It is the traditional rulers and indigenes that will come together under the influence of external people and urge their people to accept the peaceful resolution. The moment the people accept it, both governors will go on champagning. That’s what I want to suggest,” he stated