The senator representing Cross River North at the National Assembly, Rose Oko has urged the Federal Government to properly delineate the Cross River and Ebony States boundary. The senator made this appeal on the floor of the Senate, Wednesday, when she moved a motion in respect of the escalating communal clash between two boundary communities of Izzi in Ebony State and Nfuma in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.
While raising a motion the senator intimated her colleagues that there was outbreak of armed conflicts between the Izzis of Ebonyi State and the Ukelles of Yala, Cross River State on 18th June, 2016. In providing background to the conflict, Senator Rose said, part of the Izzis of Ebonyi State had settled in Ukelle, Cross River state for decades. However, sometime in the late 1990s – 2000 they chose to reconnect with the Izzis in Ebonyi state along with the land that they settled in. She further note that the settlers had paid land rents for farming activities to Chiefs and Leaders of Ukelle from the 1960’s – 1990’s.
However, from about the year 2000, rents to the landlords were stopped by the settlers, a situation which snowballed into a war in 2005. She explained that the primary bone of contention is that while the Ukelles claim that the boundary between Cross River state and Ebonyi state is at Ndiakparata, the Izzis claim that it is at Mfuma river. After an emotional laden debate on the matter, the Senate mandated the National Boundaries Commission to urgently delineate/ reinstate the boundary between Cross River state and Ebonyi state.
It called on the Cross River and Ebonyi State Governments to continue with a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The Federal Government was urged to continue to maintain military presence in the conflict zones until resolutions are made. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was mandated to send relief materials to the affected communities on both sides.