Communal conflict: C’River and Benue governments stress the need for forgiveness and peace

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The governments of Benue and Cross River States have urged their citizens to live in harmony by avoiding hostility over land ownership.

On Wednesday, the deputy governors of Cross River and Benue States, Peter Odey and Sam Ode, met to discuss the recent boundary incident that left one man from the Yache village dead and several homes and farms devastated.

High-level delegations from their respective states were led by them to Ijegu in the Yache community in Yala Local Government, Cross River State, where negotiations for peace and forgiveness were held.

Odey underlined the value of upholding the law and keeping the peace.

He sent his condolences to those who lost loved ones and property and expressed his heartfelt remorse for the needless loss of life. Additionally, he promised the populace that the administration was committed to putting an end to hostilities.

The State Surveyor-General, State Security Advisers, Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency, and Permanent Secretary, Exco Chamber and Conflict were among the important authorities who accompanied him.

Odey, a native of Yache, expressed his grief that mourning rather than celebration characterized his first visit to his kin after winning the election.

He underlined the value of upholding the law and keeping the peace.

He made a peace plea, promising to return to the neighborhood to celebrate success rather than lament, while also assuring the grieving family that government assistance would be provided. In order to sign a peace agreement, he called a meeting in his office with the Clan Head and the Chiefs of the impacted communities. In addition to promising passage of a security vote to pay for the deployment of extra personnel to the region, he advised community members to stay away from the conflict zone until the peace agreement is finalized.

Likewise, Benue State’s deputy governor, Ode, extended condolences from the state’s governor and highlighted the critical need of maintaining peace.

He voiced his profound disappointment at the tragic circumstance amongst groups that had previously lived side by side as brothers.

“All of our people who are remotely or directly involved in this crisis will be identified, fished out, and punished,” the governor of Benue State has asked me to inform you.

“I have come to extend a hand of fellowship and friendship to the people of Yache,” he declared.

He gave the populace his word that the government would make every effort to bring comfort to those afflicted by the loss of life and property.

He clarified that the conflict wasn’t over who owned the land, but rather was the result of an altercation between a member of the Ijegu group and some Tiv neighbors who were farming the area.

The Maa Clan’s Clan Head, Mohie Isaac Omaji, declared in a prepared speech that those responsible for the unfortunate incident ought to face the full force of the law.

He claimed that it was a dispute between a landlord and renter rather than a societal conflict.

He claimed that the situation was engineered by the Tiv tenants, who had previously threatened and attacked members of the Ijegu community, in an effort to take over the property.

He urged the administration to promote a peaceful conclusion and called for increased security to be present in the area as well as the prompt capture of those guilty.

Additionally, he said that the community would accept cohabitation with their Tiv neighbors in order to promote social integration and would no longer consider the property for a separate town.

Yala’s traditional leaders, according to His Royal Majesty, Amb. Ogamode Onah Ipuole, had been attentive in upholding law and order.

He asked the Benue State Government to work with their traditional chiefs in attempts to bring the two communities back together in peace.

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