Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Three peace committees that would tackle the age-long land dispute between the people of Mgbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and Agila in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State have been inaugurated by both state governments.
The joint committees were inaugurated in Government House, Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital at a peace meeting attended by the deputy governors of the two states and their delegates.
The three committees are: Cyril Obazi/Otse Otakpa Intercommunity Peace Committee, Ohaukwu/Ado Inter Local Governments Peace Committee, and a Technical Committee with members drawn from National Boundary Commission, Office of Surveyor General of the Federation and Surveyors General of Ebonyi and Benue states.
The mandate of the committees, our correspondent gathered, was primarily to design workable modalities for the restoration of permanent peace between the two communities which have been at war over a piece of land.
In his speech, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abonu, said that the aim of the committees was to ensure the restoration of peace between the two communities.
He said that it was also targeted at guiding the National Boundary Commission and providing it with ideas that would help it to demarcate the disputed area for the sake of peace.
His counterpart in Ebonyi, Dr Kelechi Igwe, lamented that the age-long, devastating boundary dispute had caused his people untold hardship.
He condemned in strong terms, a recent attack on the people of Ekwashi Mgbo and Umuogodo Akpu in Ohaukwu LGA by warlords suspected to have operated from Agila in Benue State.
He, therefore, charged the members of the three committees to work hard to ensure that the aim of setting up the committees were not defeated.
The acting Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Malam Adamu Adaji, said that the technical committees would commence work immediately to finalise the buffer zone.
Adaji, who wondered why it took Ebonyi and Benue state governments four years to inaugurate the committees, assured that they would do their best to achieve result.
Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of Ekwashi Ngbo, Eze Michael Nwode and his Agila counterpart, Chief Samuel Otekpa, assured that they would be committed to ensure that peace returns to the boundary areas.
Mr Cyril Obazi and Otse Otakpa who are co-chairmen of one of the three committees, promised to do everything within their powers to restore economic and social ties between their people.
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