Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has brokered peace between two warring communities of Ipusu and Mbawa in Makurdi Local Government Area of the state.
The Ipusu and Mbawa people who live in Tyomu area of the state capital have been at war with each other for many months now with the crises witness both loss of lives and property.
Although, the state government as well as other prominent members of the society had waded into the matter in the past, the crisis had continues to rear its ugly head with attendant losses.
But when the Rev. Akpen Leva led CAN had a meeting with all the interested parties in attendant, they all resolved to sheathe their swords and embrace peace.
During the reconciliatory meeting which held on Thursday at NKST Iortyer, Makurdi, all the leaders of the groups, Ipusu and Mbawa communities expressed their readiness to stop the crisis and commended the leadership of the church in the state for intervening in the crisis and assured that they were ready to embrace peace.
Addressing participants of the reconciliatory meeting, the CAN Chairman, Rev. Akpen Leva regretted the destruction caused by the crisis stressing that the people of the state were surrounded by enemies who were even interested in taking over the state.
Leva who posited that the continued crisis was capable of weakening the people before their enemies said the church was worried by the crisis which has not only claimed lives but property worth millions of naira.
He appealed to the warring communities to lay down their arms and embrace peace which according to him was the sure way of attracting development to their community.
On his part, Chairman, Makurdi Local Government Council, Anthony Dyege, represented by his deputy, Frank Mbashinnya who lauded the initiative of the church to bring the crisis to an end reiterated that only peace could bring development to their community.
Dyege therefore urged both sides to embrace peace for meaningful development of the Tyomu community.
Also speaking, the Acting Ter Makurdi, His Royal Highness, Chief Clement Kurugh who led other traditional rulers to the reconciliatory meeting decried the devastation caused by the crisis averring that efforts have been made at various instances to nip the ugly trend in the bud to no avail.
The traditional ruler who expressed sadness that the crisis has continued unabated wondered how the people who have settled together for a long time and intermarried could still be in crisis.
Earlier in his charge, the Vice Chairman of CAN in the state, Bishop Mike Angou prayed God to give the people a new heart and a new spirit to enable them unite, be peaceful and as well have a forgiving spirit.
At the meeting, both the people of Ipusu and Mbawa lamented the effect of the crisis which bothered on hunger and poverty in the area and resolved that sale of land in the area be suspended. The meeting also agreed that all court cases be stopped while those arrested in connection with the crisis be released.
It was also agreed that all parties in the crisis embrace dialogue to solve their problems while prayers were also offered to seek God’s intervention in the crisis.