As part of efforts to bring lasting peace to the lingering border crisis between the people of Isu community in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State and their neighbours from Utuma and Ukwa in Biase and Odukpani Local Government Areas respectively, of Cross River State, the Joint Border and Security Committee of the Abia and Cross River States Houses of Assembly paid a visit to His Excellency, Prof Ivara Esu, the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, on Monday, March 16, 2020.
After the meeting with the Deputy Governor, the joint committee convened at the Cross River State House of Assembly for further deliberations on the need for a peaceful coexistence between the people of Cross River and Abia States after which the following resolutions were reached and a communiqué issued to that effect as follows:
1. That the committee members strongly condemn the hostilities between the neighboring communities of the two states particularly Biase and Odukpani in Cross River and Arochukwu LGA of Abia State.
2. That the members call for cessation of hostilities and immediate convening of peace and reconciliation committees made of traditional leaders, elites, women and youth leaders from all the sides.
3. That Honourable Members representing the affected state constituencies should engage their people with a view to fostering lasting peace.
4. That there would be a visit of members of Cross River and Abia States Houses of Assembly joint committee on security to the affected areas on a date to be announced later.
5. That the National Boundary Commission (NBC) should as a matter of urgency, delineate the proper boundaries of the affected areas.
6. That the Commissioners of Police of the two neighboring states deploy patrol teams to monitor the security of the affected areas.
At the end of deliberations, members of the joint security committee thanked the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency, Prof. Ivara Esu, OFR for receiving them in his office and joining to profer solutions to the border crisis.
The following members of the joint security committee signed the communiqué:
– The Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eteng Williams Jones
– The Deputy Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu
– Rt. Hon. Ogbor Ogbor Udop (Member representing Biase State Constituency, Cross Rivers State).
– Hon. Dr. Mike Ukoha (Member representing Arochukwu State Constituency, Abia State House of Assembly)
– Hon. Chukwu Chijioke (Deputy Minority Leader, Abia State House of Assembly), and,
– Hon. Francis E. B. Asuquo (Member, Cross River State House of Assembly).
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Uchendu, the Deputy Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, assured that “With the current concerted efforts of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly ably led by Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, and our dear colleagues from Cross River State, the incessant border clashes between people of the disputed areas will soon be a thing of the past. No matter our differences in language and ethnicity, we are all brothers and sisters and we should all learn to put our diversities into productive use rather than destructive ones because war benefits nobody”, he concluded.