By Emmanuel Una
IKOM- FORMER Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, current Senator representing Central senatorial district, Senator John Enoh, former Commander of the United Nations Peace Troop to Sudan, General Moses Obi, monarchs and other leaders of the district converged on Ikom community in the state, penultimate Saturday, to proffer solutions to the incessant communal conflicts and cult clashes in the province.
They noted that the fact that Central senatorial district has become the hotbed of inter communal wars, leading to loss of lives, destruction of property and insecurity in the state is no longer an issue, but what has agitated sane minds in the state was why leaders took a long time in intervening.
It was, therefore, not surprising that political leaders, traditional rulers, opinion moulders, youths groups and women of the district stormed the Ikom Council Hall for a ‘Peace and Security Summit’ to dialogue and find ways to end the incessant communal conflicts and cult clashes plaguing the area.
The summit chaired by General Obi was organized by a former Commissioner of Police in the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Lawrence Alobi and was facilitated by Senator Enoh.
None is acquitted – Enoh
Senator Owan Enoh in his speech stated that none of the six local government areas in the district has not been engaged in one form of conflict or the other and those bounded by neighbouring states also have engaged in internecine clashes with them, leading to loss of many lives and the destruction of property in the past few years.
“It is only in the central district that we have had the unpleasant experience where two communities have completely been wiped out and these frequent conflicts are giving our area the image of a theatre of war which should not be so,” he asserted.
He said war in whatever form or for whatever reason is a misplaced exercise that impedes progress and development of a place and for the people of the central district to find conflict so attractive to be engaging in squabbles all year round, “is wrong and should be stopped hence forth.”
Senator Enoh said another monster consuming the lives of the youths of the district is cultism, adding: “On June 29, this year, a young man was brutally butchered in Ugep, Yakkur Local Government Area by some blood-thirsty individuals in the name of cultism. It is unfortunate that some young men have chosen the path of guns and axes rather than education to better their future.”
I made cultism unappealing in my time– Imoke
Senator Imoke, who spoke in similar tone, said during his tenure as governor of the state, he ensured that every political office holder took an oath to stay away from cultism and those who were already in the act to denounce their membership of such cults, making cultism unattractive thereby enthroning an era of peace in the state.
“When a leader is peaceful, he takes decisions that enthrone peace and the people follow suit but if he is violent, his actions would breed violence which makes the society violent and in such an environment, one can hardly experience meaningful progress,” he said.
Imoke added that he ensured that proactive decisions were taken to ensure that any community that seem to be heading towards conflict with its neighbour; the situation was addressed speedily before events got out of hand.
Why we convened summit– Alobi
Ex-FCT Commissioner, Mr Alobi, said there were many things that could bring conflict in a community and the summit was aimed at addressing such flash points to ensure that peace reigns in the district to enhance development.