The Senator representing Cross River Central in the National Assembly, Sen. Sandy Onor, has condemned the killings and destruction of properties in the recent communal clash between Nsadop/Boje/Isobendeghe communities in Boki local government area of Cross River State.
Onor, who sponsored a motion at the floor of the Senate, called on security agencies to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators immediately.
The Senator also called on the Cross River State government to effectively take over the Boki oil palm estates and delineate the inter-community boundaries accordingly.
He urged the Senate to direct the Inspector General of Police to ensure better security of lives and property in Boki Local Government Area and to immediately establish a mobile police barracks/station in the headquarters of Boki Local Government Area, for easy deployment to troubled spots.
“Cross River State is a land blessed with scintillating tourism, large forests reserves, mineral resources and numerous agricultural products.
“Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State, which is one of the largest LGA’s in the State boasts of large amounts of forests reserves and agricultural produce/products such as palm oil, cocoa, yams, timber amongst others, which are traded locally and internationally.
“In recent times, Boki Local Government Area has been plagued by incessant cult activities, land and boundary disputes and most recently, kidnapping, which has claimed a good number of lives and destroyed properties;
“On October 22, 2019, in Okundi Community, Boki Local Government Area, four young men were killed in what appeared to be a clash between these cultists and the community.
“There is still crises related to the way and manner the Boki oil palm estates are presently managed”, he said.
Worried by the development, the Lawmkaer said that more recently, on November 23, 2019, three non-indigenes who reside in Boje community, Boki Local Government Area, were kidnapped at a farm.
He said that the kidnap of those farmers caused suspicion between Boje community and two neighbouring communities; Nsadop and Isobendeghe.
He further stated that this heightened tension led to full blown inter-community war and the resultant loss of lives and wanton destruction of properties.
“This tragic state of affairs even attracted the attention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, who immediately called for security intervention and restoration of peace in the area.
“The peace and harmony as well as the agricultural potency of Boki Local Government Area, being landlords to two oil palm estates and a cocoa estate, is being threatened by the ceaseless and disturbing activities of these cultists;
“There may be more reprisal attacks by aggrieved parties if government does not move fast to quell the situation and restore peace and order in the warring communities”, he said.