By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – THE Federal government has warmed against the escalation of the clashes between Ukelle and Izzi communities in Cross River and Ebonyi states, saying a further breach of the peace could threaten food security in the affected communities.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau who gave
the warning when he visited the affected communities, however, assured them of the federal government’s determination to find lasting solutions to the boundary dispute between the two states.
Dambazau, who was accompanied on the visit by the Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Dr M.B Ahmad, expressed the dismay of the federal government over the avoidable crisis, and asked warring communities to sheathe their swords, to give room for a thorough resolution of the boundary dispute by relevant authorities.
Press Secretary to the minister, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo in a statement added that “as a member of the National Food Security Council, inaugurated by President Muhamandu Buhari, the minister warned that such crisis could lead to shortage in food production, hence the need to ensure peaceful co-existence, to enhance food production in the predominantly agrarian communities, while also attracting developmental projects from the federal and state governments.
He said the National Boundary Commission and other relevant authorities will handle the issue and asked concerned state governments to be magnanimous in complimenting federal government’s efforts with necessary political will.
“He also reminded the police and other heads of security services in the affected states to be mindful of the social contract between government and citizens, and employ them to be more proactive in their operations in other to nip in the bud, such crisis before it occurs. Consequently, the minister directed the provision of adequate security, to enable displaced persons return back to their communities, while persons behind the violence are brought to book”.
In a related development, the minister visited Anambra state on security assessment tour, where he also represented President Buhari at the commissioning and handing over of erosion control works at Nda Nnobi and Agbor in Idemili local government area of the state.