By Sunday Isuwa, Abuja
The country is battling with myriad of insecurity. While many will not want to see more bloodshed, communities in Ebonyi and Benue states have been in hostilities over a boundary.
The dispute has led to the killings of many Nigerians. While both states governors have unable to address the security challenges, Senators Abba Moro (PDP Benue South) and Sam Egwu (PDP Ebonyi North) have team up to seek for solution.
The lawmakers have called on warring communities in their areas to shield their sword and embrace peace.
While their kinsmen won’t seat on the same table and eat, Moro and Egwu are not only having a cordial relationship, they have called on the warring communities to shield their sword and embrace peace.
Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and the Agila people in Ado LGA of Benue State have been fighting over boundary for years. Many have been killed but the National Boundary Commission is yet to wade in as far as appropriate demarcation of territories are concerned.
The crisis which started in 1923, has led to the killing of hundreds of people. Even the Legal Notice 126 of 1954 have not been able to solve the problem.
On March 10, 2020 the crisis broke out again with 12 people killed. On April 18, 2020 there was reprisal with unspecified number of casualties. On 12 April 2021, killings took place which has brought tension to the communities.
But lawmakers had earlier raised motions on the floor of the Senate.
Resolutions were passed by the Senate but efforts by the State and Federal to ensure that lasting peace is restored between the two communities is not forthcoming.
The lawmakers in a joined statement, said there have been sustained efforts on their part to finally settle the land dispute and restore lasting peace between Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and the Agila people in Ado LGA of Benue State, which have lingered over the years.
“On Monday the 12th day of April, 2021, alleged herdsmen invaded Umuogudu Akpu Community, Ngbo, in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and gruesomely killed over 12 innocent indigenes, burnt/destroyed over 56 houses and kidnapped five persons.
“While we were mourning our people and trying to identify the extent of damage, we were surprisingly greeted with a statement by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, without any form of investigation, that the attack was carried out by Agila people, and not Fulani herdsmen,” the Senators said.
ALSO READ: https://leadership.ng/communal-clashes-100-killed-in-a-ibom-c-river-abia-in-3-months/
According to them, “This claim, which has the potential of heightening the tension between the two communities has long been refuted and denied by the Chairman of Ado LGA and the Government of Benue State.
The people of Ado LGA who have been victims of herdsmen attacks in recent times couldn’t have hired the same people to carry out an attack on their behalf.
“There have been sustained efforts on our part to finally settle the land dispute and restore lasting peace between Ngbo people in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and the Agila people in Ado LGA of Benue State, which have lingered over the years. Motions have been raised on the floor of the Senate, resolutions passed by the Senate and efforts sustained at the State and Federal levels to ensure that lasting peace is restored between the two communities,” they said.
While urging the security operatives to move into the affected communities and secure lives and property of the people, the lawmakers conceded that both communities have embraced the proposed beaconing and delimitation exercise by the National Boundary Commission.
The exercise, if carry out diligently by the officials of the National Boundary Commission will finally put to an end all the boundary-related crises in these Senatorial Districts.
Not only that, there is also Ezza/Effium crisis, which started in Effium community in Ebonyi state and spilled into Ado LGA in Benue State because of the presence of Ezzas/Effium in Ado LGA.
The crisis is yet to be contained. Many people have relocated to some Efium and Ezza communities both in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and Ado LGA of Benue State.
The relocation of the people is creating apprehension in the neighboring communities.
“The alleged abduction of Five Elders from Odum Community of Ulayi District, Ado LGA before Easter Sunday has heightened the tension between the affected communities,” Senators Moro and Egwu, stated.
It was resolved that the Traditional Council of Ado Local Government should reach out to the elders and traditional leaders of Ohaukwu LGA to broker more peaceful negotiations and resolution of the matter.
It is unfortunate that life is worthless in Nigeria as a result of the in action and failure of authorities to protect the people.
While the lawmakers have taken adequate measures that will help in solving the problem, the federal government through the National Boundary Commission, the Ebonyi and Benue state governments must support the efforts of these Senators and take proactive steps to solve this problem.