By George Odok
Calabar – Cross River State is hosting 47,200 persons displaced by crisis and persistent flood, according to Mr Princewill Ayim, Acting Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Ayim told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Calabar that the figure was far above the 32,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the state hosted in 2018.
He attributed the rise in the number of IDPs to the incessant communal clashes across the state, which had rendered thousands of residents homeless.
He said that the heavy rains witnessed in the state had also resulted into massive flooding which displaced many families from their ancestral homes.
Ayim listed local governments with the IDPs to include Boki, Biase, Yala, Odukpani, Obubra, Bakassi and Obanliku.
He said that IDPs from Odukpani, Biase, Obubra and Yala Local Governments were displaced from their homes as a result of the lingering feud between communities in Akwa Ibom State and their neighbours, Ebonyi.
“Some of the clashes have lasted for years and have impacted negatively on the economy and welfare of the people,” he said, adding that the state government had done a lot to end the violence, but without success.
“Currently, we have invited the National Boundary Commission to the affected areas. The commission has been holding peace meetings with the governments of Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom toward finding a lasting solution to the clashes,” he said.
He said that government had been preaching peace and urging those living in the disputed areas to treat their neighbours as brothers and sisters, and regretted that people in same local government were fighting and killing over land.
Ayim urged traditional rulers in affected communities to take precautionary measures by calling their subjects to order, especially during the rainy season, so as to avert future occurrence of communal clashes.