Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over reports of violence in four communities in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State resulting in loss of lives, injuries and displacement of villagers.
The violence in which broke out Monday, is reported to have resulted from the sale of a parcel of land, used to cultivate palm fruits since 1973. The land reportedly belonged to Urugbam and Egbor communities, but was leased out by the Egbor community to African Stone Works Ltd allegedly without the consent of the Urugbam and other communities that have been a part of the cultivation for over 45 years.
The violence broke out in Urugbam, Egbor, Ipene, and Abanwan, four of the 10 communities that make up Erei clan, which predominantly occupies the southwestern tip of Cross River near the border with Abia State.
In a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as urging the people of the areas to allow law and order to prevail.
“Our communities must be ready to live together in peace since no development can take place in an atmosphere of recurring violence,” he said.
President Buhari, who commended the State Government for the steps taken so far towards bringing peace to the areas, also lauded the State Police Command for speedily mobilizing its personnel to the affected communities to contain the crisis.
He urged all stakeholders to cooperate and ensure that lasting peace returned to the affected areas.