Communal crisis: Ebonyi releases white paper as c’ttee recommends boundary pillars

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Ebonyi State Government has released a white paper on the report of the committee on the resolution of the land dispute between Amana in Ezza South Local Government Area and Ohankwu in Ikwo Local government areas of the State which claimed many lives with properties destroyed.

This was as the committee set up by the government has recommended immediate re-establishment of cement boundary pillars to end the crisis taking bearing from existing ones to determine the owners of the disputed Lead site and surrounding farm lands under contention.

The Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in the state, Jude Okpor disclosed this in Abakaliki, the state capital at a press briefing.

“The White Paper dated 8th November, 2023 and endorsed by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, contained Government’s statements of adoption of the Committee’s recommendations and the Governor’s directive to concerned ministries and department to implement same.

“The Committee from their findings set aside the earlier report of the Ebonyi State Peace Committee which recommended government’s acquisition of the disputed land and properties and its subsequent partitioning between the contending Communities. They observed that the CAN committee did not consult archival evidence before arriving at its decision”, he state.

Okpor noted that the committee further found out that the discovery of Lead, a mineral in commercial quantity in the area and the removal of the cement boundary beacons established by the colonial masters were the immediate and remote causes of the crisis.

He explained that the committee therefore recommended immediate re-establishment of the cement boundary pillars taking bearing from existing ones as such will automatically determine the owners of the disputed Lead site and surrounding farm lands under contention.

“Such determination, the Committee believes will enable proper delineation of the boundary, and thereafter, a directive for the encroachers to retreat to their own side for a lasting peace between the two communities.

“Recall that this Committee which has Engr. Ogbonnaya Obasi Abara as chairman and Barr. Peter Ogodo as secretary was inaugurated by Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru on the 17th day of July, 2023. Other members of the committee were their royal highnesses, Eze Charles Azuenya and Cosmas Agwu, as well as surveyor Augustine Okpani.

“The committee was given 4 major terms of reference which included; to find out the remote and immediate causes of the lingering crises, to review existing reports and documents on the crisis submitted by previous committees set up by the government. profer solutions that will bring lasting peace among the two communities and make other recommendations as they may seem fit to forestall recurrence of further crises.

“The Committees report was submitted to the State Executive Council on Wednesday, 25th October, 2023”, he submitted. ENDS