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EBONYI COMMUNITY SEEKS RESOLUTION OF BOUNDARY DISPUTE WITH C-RIVER

By NBF News
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Igbeagu- Igbeagu community in Igbeagu Development Centre of Ebonyi State, has called for a speedy resolution of the boundary dispute with Ukelle community in Cross River State.

The boundary dispute between both communities had lingered for several years, leading to loss of several lives and destruction of property worth millions of naira.

Mr Phillip Alieze, the coordinator of the centre, said the relationship between both communities had degenerated to an irredeemable level.

He said: 'It is obvious that both communities cannot live together again, as the only remaining option is for the boundary to be equitably delineated for enduring peace to be achieved.

'In spite of existing acrimony, both communities have embraced peace and are ready to accept any adjustment by the National Boundary Commission.'

Alieze also said stakeholders of the centre were eagerly awaiting an amicable resolution of the dispute.

He said: 'We have had meetings with the state governor severally and with representatives of both states, affected communities and the NBC in Calabar, last October.

'The NBC assured both parties that the adjustment will be done before the end of 2012, first quarter and both parties were satisfied with the decision.'

The coordinator said that in the bid to ensure the security of lives and property, both communities contribute to the upkeep of soldiers on peace keeping mission in the area.

'Our vigilance group complements the soldiers' efforts in maintaining law and order at the disputed area, as we provide the necessary logistics they need to operate with.

'We also inaugurated the vigilance group in the 68 villages that make up the centre and actively involve traditional rulers in monitoring their operations,''  he said.

To ensure that the youths were kept busy, he said the centre initiated skill acquisition programme for them to be productively engaged.

'The programme, which commenced since 2009 had seen more that 30 youths trained in vocations skills such as hairdressing, barbing, suit making, among others.

'We provide them with various sums of money and equipment such as: driers, clippers, sewing machines among others.'

Mr Jude Okeh, a farmer from the community, told NAN that the people had commenced farming activities, which were disrupted during the crisis.

'It was dangerous to go to our farms during the crisis, but the combined efforts of the soldiers and stakeholders in the community had brought relative peace to the area,' he said.