Nigerian Government intervenes in Cross River crisis

Eme Offiong, Calabar

Governor Ayade presents Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau with a souvenir.

The Nigerian government has appealed to the over two hundred ethnic nationalities in Cross River State to avoid actions that could be detrimental to the once peaceful, politically stable and hospitable area.

Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau made the appeal during a visit to the State, following media reports of a communal clash at Ukele Clan in Yala Local Government Area.

Finding Facts
His arrival in Cross River as a delegate of the Nigerian Government was to gather facts on the extent of damages resulting from the recent clashes.

Recently, youths of Wanihem and Wanikade villages of the Ukele clan, Yala council area, engaged in fierce communal conflict over farmland.

The crisis resulted in the destruction of several farmlands, homes and other property worth millions of naira, as well as loss of one life.

According to the Minister, “The Nigerian government is very much concerned about the clashes, especially where it involves lives and property, as well as displacement of citizens”.

He further stated that, “we are going to the area to see things for ourselves, so that we can go back, write a report with far reaching recommendations to ensure that this does not happen again”.

The Minister commended the Cross River Government and security agencies for their prompt response, which was geared towards peaceful resolution of all communal fracases.

He assured that the Nigeria government would collaborate with the State to tackle challenges, which could threaten the security of lives and property.

Swift intervention
Governor Ayade applauded the Nigerian government for wading into the crisis.

The Governor said “I thank you for making out time to visit at such a time when this incident occurred, so that you can see the situations for yourself. This is one of the swiftest responses I have seen”.

While applauding President Buhari and Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo for their empathy, commitment and love for the State, he said: “Cross River State is fervently praying for the Mr. President’s early return. He is the President that has given us – Cross River – the highest appointment in the history of Nigeria”.

Governor Ayade, who noted that the Cross River people were known for peace and brotherly love, expressed concern over the clashes between Wanihem and Wanikade in Ukele, Yala council area.

“We have always had these communal clashes occasioned by the normal nature that people seek farmlands; and if we check the background causes of all these clashes, it originates from poverty, hardship and an in-egalitarian distribution of resources and opportunities,” Ayade remarked.

Ayade also appealed to people to embrace peace as those who share similar ethnic and historical backgrounds.

Bakassi returnees
Meanwhile, Governor Ayade is also appealing for the swift intervention of the Nigerian Government on the Bakassi people evicted by gendarmes from the Republic of Cameroun.

He said: “The people have been so dislocated that today, they live in huts built on along the river bank. Even when you see the canoes, they are damage, unusable and definitely uninhabitable”.

Sammie Idika