Army Reconciles Warring Communities in Cross River, Ebonyi States

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By Paul Obi in Abuja

The Nigerian Army at the weekend reconciled warring communities in Cross River and Ebonyi States, therefore bringing calm to troubled communities within the states.

According to the Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division Nigerian Army, Col. Sagir Musa, the peace initiative was spearheaded by General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Baba Abubakar, in line with the directive of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Yusufu Buratai. 

He explained that reconciliation was achieved during stakeholders’ peace meeting with traditional, religious, political and youth leaders of the conflicting communities of Azuofia Edda, Okpuitumo, Ofomana in Osofon of Abakaliki Local Government Area in Ebonyi State and their counterparts in Ogorunde and Ofumuna communities in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Muss said: “The meeting was as a result of the latest clash between Osofon community and Ogorunde in Ebonyi and Cross River States on September 1, 2017, where seven persons were allegedly killed and two others were wounded. 

“Consequently, the need to proactively respond to highly likely reprisal from the bereaved community and stop the cycle of violence made the GOC to call for the meeting to resolve the crisis. 

“The meeting had the Commissioners of Police from both states, Mr. Titus Lamorde and Hafiz Mohammed respectively, representatives of the Department of State Security Services (SSS), the Special Advisers to both states on Security, Mr. Kenneth Ugbala and Jude Ngaji.”

Others were the Secretary to Ebonyi State Government, Professor Bernard Odoh, and the representative of Cross River State Government, Mr. Emmanuel Bassey. 

Other top government functionaries and community leaders who attended the stakeholders’ meeting were the  Ebonyi State Commissioner for Border and Peace, Mr. Sylvania Nwankwegu; former Senator Ngiji Ngele, Chief Jeremia Oketah, Hon. Mathew Uguru, Hon.  Earnest Henriek, the traditional rulers from both communities, Eze Godwin Nwankwegu and Eze Pious Nwamgele, as well as the Chairman of Abakaliki Local Government Area  of Ebonyi State.

Musa added that “during the historic stakeholders’ peace meeting, the warring communities voluntarily agreed to forgive each other eschew further acts of violence and accepted genuine commitment to resolutions at the meeting.”