By Peter Okutu
Abakaliki -There seems to be a ray of hope for the people of Amagu in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State following Federal Government’s intervention in the boundary dispute between the community and the people of Adadama community in Abi LGA of Cross River State.
*Members of Amagu community, Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State in a Townhall meeting over the boundary dispute between it and Adadama community in Cross River State.
The dispute which has lingered for several decades had claimed lots of lives and property from both sides of the divide as the once peaceful communities are now living in fear because things fell apart and the centre could no longer hold.
However, the prompt intervention of the Federal Ministry of External Affairs through the parastatal of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, IPCR, the affected community in Ebonyi is optimistic that there will soon be a new twist to finding a permanent solution to the impasse.
There had been several interventions into the lingering land dispute by the present administration of Governor David Umahi, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, traditional rulers from both sides, National Boundary Commission, NBC, Governors and Deputy Governors of both Ebonyi and Cross River states among others.
At a Townhall meeting organised by IPCR for Ikwo community with the theme: Assessment of the border dispute between Ebonyi and Cross River states at the Pastoral Centre, Abakaliki, the Chief Research Fellow of the Institute and leader of the team, Mr. Andy Ekemneme who stated that the institute was on a fact-finding mission and assessment into the lingering land dispute assured the people of Amagu community in Ikwo LGA of its determination towards resolving the matter as it will conduct an assessment of the number of displaced persons, property lost and make its recommendations to the Federal Government.
Some of the agreements reached during the Townhall meeting was for the Federal Government to step into another round of consultations with both parties in order to create a new boundary line, the affected communities to renounce its traditional covenant with respect to the disputed land, mopping up arms and ammunition from both sides, create a buffer zone while any form of militia group should be disbanded.
In his remarks, HRH Eze Dominic Aloh, traditional ruler of Amagu community in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State who expressed displeasure over the lingering dispute explained how he has over time called on the youths of Amagu community not to go for any reprisal attacks on the people of Adadama community.
He pointed out that Amagu community was ready to end the lingering dispute as over 3,000 of his people have been displaced even as the state government has put modalities in place to ensure the safety of lives and property of the people of the area.
As the Institute work towards the resolution of the land dispute, many are optimistic that in no distant time, peace will return to Amagu/Adadama communities of Ebonyi and Cross River states.