C’River Deputy Governor Chats with Inter-State Peace Movement

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By Ukongikwen Adie

The Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, has charged Nigerians to mitigate communal clashes and embrace dialogue that will lead to peaceful coexistence NEGROIDHAVEN has learnt.

Rt. Hon. Odey gave this advice when the Cross River/Ebonyi Youths Peace Development Movement paid him a courtesy call on Thursday at his office.

The Deputy Governor opined that there is no war that is “good war’; therefore communal clashes should be nibbed in the bud before they escalate. He informed his guests that the Cross River State Government (CRSG) would set up a border agency that would be tasked with going across borders in the State to meet with the people and hold conversations and dialogue that will ensure lasting peace to the areas involved. Hon Odey recalled that while he was in the Cross River State House of Assembly, he led the delegation that went to Ebonyi State during the crisis between a community in Obubra LGA (CRS) and another community in Ebonyi State. He expressed satisfaction that the efforts of his team and other stakeholders over the years have yielded results today. The Deputy Governor appreciated the Peace Movement for all that they have done, stating that their dedication to pursuing lasting peace between the warring communities in both States is worthy of emulation.

The Cross River/Ebonyi Youth Peace Development Movement was established in July 2017 after the clashes that ravaged the sister states. The Peace Movement involves Yala, Obubra, and Abi LGAs in Cross River, on the one hand, and lzi, Abakaliki and lkwo LGAs in Ebonyi State, on the other.

The leader of the Organization, Barr. Pascal Nwenyi, informed the Deputy Governor that since the inception of the organization about six years ago, there has been no altercation between communities in the two States. Barr. Nwenyi said his organization thought it necessary to inform Rt. Hon. Odey of their activities and the successes recorded so far. The organization has interfaced with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and the National Border Commission (NBC) to visit the affected areas so as to educate the people on the negative effects of war. As a result of the efforts of the Peace Movement in the past five years, the areas have enjoyed complete peace.

Cross River/Ebonyi Youths Peace Development Movement paid Odey a courtesy call on Thursday, 2nd November, 2023, at his office

Also speaking, Chief Hon. Ernest Irek who is a patron of the organization said they were here because they are aware that issues of conflict resolution and border matters rest with the Office of the Deputy Governor. Consequently, they wanted the Deputy Governor to be aware of what the organization has so far done, and to pledge that they will no longer allow people to kill themselves because of land. According to Chief Irek, “Today, even during the dry season, we stayed back, closed our eyes and people were drinking from their ponds, we are quite excited”.

Chief Irek thanked His Excellency for giving them the opportunity to chat with him. He added that “though young as you are, we look at you as our father and we believe that you are going to give us words of succor”.

Also present during the visit were the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power in Ebonyi State,Engineer Chukuma, and Mrs Arako Emmanuel (Head of Department of Conflict Resolution,Office of the Deputy Governor). Others were: Mr.Lucky Okpechi and Mr Ekpe Henry.