The Cross River State Government says it is deeply disappointed “at the threat to peace and security that was witnessed in some communities in Yakurr Local Government Area recently”, adding that “communities that should ordinarily co-exist mutually as kith and kin engaged each other in an ignoble war, with mindless killings and destruction of both public and private property over land, a natural resource freely given by God and to which no individual is interred with on passage to the great beyond.”
Ben Ayade, CRSG, expressed this disappointment yesterday, August 22, 2017, in Ugep, Yakurr LG council headquarters, in an address delivered on the occasion of the 2017 Leboku Yam Festival, held at the Yakurr Peace Stadium.
Represented by his deputy, Ivara Esu, Ayade however, saluted the courage of all the local chiefs in the area and other well-meaning sons and daughters of the area who “rose up in condemnation of the fracas and contributed in ending same.” He added that government will no longer condone any resort to arms by any community in the settlement of disputes.
He further stated that, “the Leboku Festival must be seen as a common ground where the Yakurr Nation could meet as a people, interact in a friendly atmosphere and celebrate the common bond of unity handed down by their forebears.” His administration he maintained, will promote and deepen the festival as a value addition to the various farm crops produced in the area. “We have already commenced the receipt of tenders for the construction of poultries and feed mills, fully automated instant noodles processing plant, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage plant/brewery, honey coated peanut processing factory amongst others … to explore the possibility of establishing other food and processing industries where yam as one of the staples, could be processed booth for local consumption and possibly export.”
Meanwhile, Ayade’s non-appearance at the festival for the second year running, appear to cast aspersions on his commitment to ensuring that the second most important festival in the tourism calendar of the state, has his backing. Sources in Ugep who spoke with www.calitown.com maintain that “he seems to have demonstrated over a two year span that this festival does not need his presence, unlike his predecessors, Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke”, one source said. One government source however maintains that “while it is unfortunate that he is not here, his administration has thrown its weight behind this festival and kept faith with car gifts to Mr & Miss Leboku winners as well as the best harvester; doesn’t it demonstrate his commitment to Leboku?”
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