From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has inaugurated a Peace, Reconciliation and Rehabilitation Committee to resolve age-long land disputes between Ebom/Ebiaghara and Ediba/Usumutong communities in Abi local government area of the state.
The people of Ebom , Ebijaghara, Ediba and Usumutong communities have been engaged in an age-long fratricidal war over a parcel of land, leading to wanton destruction of lies and property.
Investigations showed that the Ebijakara has been a wasteland for over a decade as the people have diverted their community and now refugees in neighbouring communities of Usumutong and Afikpo in Ebonyi state.
The five-man committee headed by former Senate Majority Leader, Sen Victor Ndoma Egba, has been mandated to among others seek ways and means to bring lasting peace to the people of Ebom , Ebijaghara, Ediba and Usumutong people as well as to bring hope to our people
Speaking while inaugurating the Committee at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office, on Tuesday, Calabar, governor Ben Ayade frowned at the destruction and loss of lives in the four communities arising from the land dispute.
He said the members of the committee were selected based on their track record and expressed confidence in their ability to deliver.
Ayade said: “God has touched my soul to ask and seek your intervention in this protracted crisis among our brothers in the four communities of the same local government perpetually at war with one another. God has whispered to me that you all will bring a lasting solution to this crisis.
“It is a call from Almighty God because the amount of bloodshed has reached an unacceptable limit, the level of wanton destruction has become cataclysmic.
“You have a duty to ensure that your committee performs her duty with dispatch. We are saddling you with a responsibility that is the biggest ever because you have a role to get all the four communities to sit together.”
The governor urged the committee to explore the possibility of demarcating boundaries of the four communities and pledged to implement it’s recommendations to the latter, disclosing that rehabilitation of the warring communities would be conditioned by the committe’s final report.
He said the white paper will determine the amount of houses to be built in these communities, water supply, rural electrification, solar installations, all of this will form a product of your report.
Responding, Senator Ndoma Egba assured the governor that the committee would bring peace to the four communities saying, “we will put our lives, our bodies, our blood and our souls into this assignment.
“Your Excellency as you know I have carried out assignments locally, nationally, and internationally, but I want to say on behalf of the members of my committee that this is the assignment of our lives, this is our most important assignment.