Publish White Paper On Communal Crises – Onyedama Community Begs Gov Ayade


BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – Traumatised and ravaged by persistent communal crises, the Onyedama Community in Obubra Local Government of Cross River State has begged the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration to publish the White Paper of the various commissions of inquiry established to investigate the festering hostilities involving them and their Nko neighbours in Yakurr Local Government Area of the State

According to the embattled Community, the State government’s refusal to make public reports of the various fact-finding committees set up to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the communal clashes between them and their neighbours is being perceived as a gang-up to wipe out the existing generation of their people from the surface of the earth

Addressing a press conference in Calabar, the State capital aimed at putting the records straight, a Community Leader, Mr Festus Ntor Obo said their dispute spans generations, noting that as far back as 1942, the Onyedama people had dragged the Nko community to Court over the same disputed boundary claims and won the case.

Mr Obo, accompanied by other respected leaders of thought in the Community, also pointed out that in a similar criminal suit instituted by the Police as prosecutors against one Ibor Uket and nine other Nko indigenes in 1982, the case was equally decided in their favour.

Also drawing attention to another case in 1976, marked MB /43/96, involving the Community and their Nko neighbours over the same disputed boundary which they won, the Onyedama leader challenged their neighbours to come up with facts and figures to substantiate their claims over the contentious piece of land.

He also pointed out that despite the various judicial interventions and numerous commissions of inquiry set up by the State government on the matter, their neighbours have remained adamant as if the weak cannot co-exist with the mighty or the strong cannot stand the sight of the weak.

“The people of Onyedama are also of the opinion that it is not as if they are confrontational to government proposed stand of acquiring the disputed portion of farmland between the two communities, but they are merely insisting on the proper thing to be done as they have judicial pronouncements in their favour as it concerns the right of ownership of the disputed land”, he said

Commenting on what would lead to lasting peace between them and their neighbours, the Onyedama community insisted that they have never prevented the Nko people from farming in the disputed farmland as long as they comply with the traditional rites of paying homage to them which signifies a sign of accepting their right of ownership

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