Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Lawmakers from Ebonyi and Benue States have called on the Federal Government to urgently interfere in the perennial land dispute between the people of Ngbo/Effium of Ebonyi State and Agila people of Benue State.
The age long feuds between the 2 communities has led to communal clashes that have continued to consume lives and property of innocent citizens of the two states, with the introduction of kidnapping recently across the areas.
The lawmakers, Senator Sam Ominyi Egwu (Ebonyi North), Sen. Abba Moro (Benue South) and Hon. Chukwuma Nwazunku who represents Ebonyi/Izzi Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State in House of Representatives made the call in a joint press briefing at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
According to the lawmakers, “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.
“We urge security operatives to move into the affected communities and secure lives and property of the people. We know that both communities have embraced the proposed re-beaconing and delimitation exercise by the National Boundary Commission. We therefore urge that the exercise should be carried out with dispatch to finally put to an end all the boundary-related crises in our Senatorial Districts.”
The lawmakers expressed regret that the crises between the Ezza and Effium subgroups in the troubled area has not been contained and urged the people of the affected areas to sheath their swords as efforts were already being made to ensure that peace returned to all the affected communities permanently.
The lawmakers called on the governments of the two affected states to intensify efforts in collaboration with relevant federal government agencies on the quest to find a lasting solution to the crises.
On the need to cushion the effect of the crises on the people of the affected communities, the National Assembly members called for the urgent intervention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately reach out to the displaced and affected persons through donation of critical relief materials to assist them live a semblance of normal life while permanent solution is sought for the crises.
“On the 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/Effiumites in Ado LGA, it is regrettable that the crisis is yet to be contained, leading to the relocation of some Efium and Ezza people to neighboring communities both in Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and Ado LGA of Benue State, thereby creating apprehension in those neighboring communities.
“We therefore call on the Governments of Benue and Ebonyi States to put in greater efforts and in collaboration with relevant Federal Government Agencies to take immediate practical steps to ensure immediate of all adopted persons and restoration of lasting peace between the affected communities.
Answering question from journalists on the giving a permanent solution to the recurring crises, Sen. Egwu maintained that proper demarcation of the areas in contention by the National Boundary Commission remained the only intervention that can bring a lasting solution to the lingering crises.
The lawmakers stated that they were confident that the National Boundary Commission would provide a lasting solution to the crises.