Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, has inaugurated a Peace, Reconciliation and Rehabilitation Committee to resolve age-long land disputes between Ebom/Ebiaghara and Ediba/Usumutong communities in Abi local government area of the state with former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba as head of the committee.
Speaking while inaugurating the committee at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar, Ayade frowned at the destruction and loss of lives in the four communities arising from the land dispute and charged the committee to come up with recommendations that would “seek ways and means to bring lasting peace to the people of Ebom, Ebijakara, Ediba and Usumutong people and bring hope to our people”
While the governor said he personally selected members of the committee based on their track record, he specifically told Ndoma-Egba that his choice as Chairman “…is based on your antecedents as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN. You have reached the pinnacle of your profession, the profession of dispensing justice and fairness. As a SAN you know you have a deep experience of Cross River State. Your history is as old as the new renaissance of Cross River. You know all the key players by name, your image and towering influence should be able to calm the nerves and sit everyone down on a negotiating table to agree”.
Continuing, the governor added that, the Chairman has a duty to ensure that the committee performs her duty with dispatch. “We are saddling you with a responsibility… you have a role to get all the four communities to sit together.” The state governor urged the committee to explore the possibility of demarcating boundaries of the four communities and pledged to implement it’s recommendations to the latter.
Responding, Ndoma Egba assured the governor his committee would work to bring peace to the four communities. “Your Excellency as you know I have carried out assignments locally, nationally and internationally, but I want to say on behalf of the members of my committee that this is the assignment of our lives, this is our most important assignment. So I want to assure you sir that we will put our all in this assignment. It is not in anyway a political assignment because peace has nothing to do with politics”, the former Senate Majority Leader further said.
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