NGO tasks C/River, Ebonyi to demarcate disputed lands

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A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, has called on the Governors of Cross River and Ebonyi to enhance the process of demarcating the disputed lands between the two states.

The NGO Executive Director, Mrs Emem Okon, made the call on Friday in Calabar while delivering a speech at a capacity building and training workshop for community leaders.

She said that a clear demarcation of the parcel of lands in contention would curb disputes spanning a century and help to avert future crises between the two states and also promote peace and unity.

She called on community and youth leaders from the boundary communities of both states to always seek the option of dialogue rather than fight and destroy property.

The training, which is co-sponsored by OXFAM and Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, was organised to build the capacity of opinion leaders’ and Leaders of Thought in the two states.

It will also educate participants on how to impact positively on their communities.

Okon stated that for leaders to remain influential, they must be visionary in a manner that they could accommodate different shades of opinions brought before them by their followers.

She urged the community leaders to regularly organise skill acquisition programmes for the youth in their communities so that they could become self-reliant.

“As a leader, you must be straight forward, coach others, be a visionary, a change agent, a decision maker, an influencer, a team player and above all a peace maker,” she noted.

The executive director urged participants at the workshop to ensure that the knowledge gained at the training session was put into use when they returned home.

She said this would assist to build an egalitarian society where all could peacefully co-exist with one another.

In his remarks, Mr Pius Dukor, the Lead Speaker at the capacity training session, advocated the application of wisdom in resolving disputes rather than the use of force.

Speaking on the topic: “Leadership and Community Development”, Dukor called on participants to always lead by example and engaged their followers in the decision making process, particularly on matters that affect the community.

“Don’t expect bread and butter at all times upon assumption of this kind of responsibility. Expect opposition from the other sides of the divide, opposition would come.

“A lot of people will oppose you. However, with wisdom you will overcome all the challenges,” he advised.