The Chairman of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission and senatorial candidate of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) for the Central Senatorial District in the February 2019 general elections, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has stated his strong commitment to facilitate the return of lasting peace among waring Abi Communities.
It would be recalled that the Bahumono communities of Ediba, Usumutong, Ebom and Ebijakara in Abi local government area of Cross River State had over the years engaged in communal clashes without lasting solution.
Meanwhile, hundreds of lives and properties worth millions of Naira have been lost in the needless crises, while meaningful development had eluded the area as a result of the crisis.
Senator Ndoma-Egba stated his resolve during an interactive session with community leaders drawn from the nine communities of Bahumono held recently at the Ivany Hotel, Ugep in Yakurr LGA.
After hearing from the various speakers, each representing his or her community, he reminded them that everyone is a loser in a crisis situation and those present have all confirmed that with the copious reference to their stunted development during their presentations.
He therefore,enjoined the leaders to call the youths to order, stop funding communal wars and refocus their energies and resources to developmental objectives, including holding their political leaders to account.
Ndoma-Egba, who used the occasion to donate relief materials to the affected communities insists that he will work with any individuals or groups, government or private, who are also seeking for peace in Abi Local Government Area.
He promised to keep engaging all the stakeholders in the area on a frequent basis to achieve this objective and observed that the only way to finding sustainable peace is when the communities are directly involved in fashioning out the peace formula, as against peace being imposed and enforced externally.
He warned that court cases and judgments have never guaranteed peace anywhere in the world but rather dialogue and negotiations are the surest means to achieving peaceful resolutions of conflicts.
The senator also remarked about the lingering Adadama-Amagwu Ikwo interstate boundary dispute and his intention to wade into the matter, together with all the concerned parties and stakeholders.
He debunked any insinuations that his intervention is as a result of his political aspiration but insists that he feels duty-bound as a leader in Central Cross River and Nigeria with deep and long standing relationships in Abi to seek for restoration of peace, adding that it is better late than never.
Some of the Bahumono leaders present at the meeting included Prof. Eme Osim (of the University of Calabar), Mr. Freedom Ejom (a Permanent Secretary in the Cross River State Service), HH Ovai Engr. Robert Etu (a retired Director of the Cross River State service and Clan Head 2 of Ebom), HH Ovai Sunday Eremi (Clan Head 2 of Usumutong), HH Ovai Ejom Edward Ejom (Clan Head 2 of Ediba), Mr. Freedom Bassey and Hon. Matthew Upe (both youth leaders of Afafanyi) amongst others.