Senate Leader, Chief Victor Ndoma-Egba, has donated food items to Usumutong and Ediba communities in Abi Local Government Area after three-weeks of hostilities over disputed land which paralysed their economic activities.
Items donated by Ndoma-Egba included 150 bags of rice; 16 cartons of cooking oil; 10 cartons of seasoning cubes; 80 cartons of tomato paste and 100 cartons of noodles.
These items were received by the chairman of Abi Local Government Area, Mrs. Edith Amadi.
The Senior Special Adviser to the Senate Leader, Mr. Lawrence Takon, who made the presentation, said his boss was informed last month of the crisis brewing between the two communities in his constituency but just when he was about to visit them, he was told by the chairman of Abi that the matter was being resolved.
Despite the attempt at peace, Takon said Ndoma-Egba was aware that tension was still high between the two communities with farming and economic activities affected.
He said the development informed Ndoma-Egba’s decision to donate the food items to alleviate their suffering especially during this Easter season calls for love and peaceful co-existence.
“Since there was no full blown war, the senator has decided to appreciate the two communities this Easter season. These are not relief materials. They are meant for the celebration of the Easter. We commend the people of Usumutong and Ediba for their understanding and maturity in resolving this crisis,” he said.
Takon explained that the decision not to disburse the items directly to the two communities was to ensure that they get them from the council boss more so as the donor wants a sharing formula that the people are familiar with.
He commended Governor Liyel Imoke, elders and elites of Abi for rising to the occasion, noting that their timely intervention brought about peace and prevented loss of lives and property that is always associated with communal clashes over boundary or annexation of land.
Based on the recurring conflict by Usumutong and Ediba over the piece of land on their boundary, the Cross River State Government is now its owner as it has become a buffer zone. None of the two communities will be allowed to trespass on the said piece of land that had claimed lives in the past.
Chairman of Abi Local Government Area, Edith Amadi, commended Ndoma-Egba for his gesture and for being wary of any disturbance in his constituency and assisting accordingly even as she promised that the items will be distributed to the two communities evenly.
She said when she got wind of plans by the people of Usumutong and Ediba to take up arms over a disputed piece of land she moved in quickly to nip the plan in the bud hence relative peace was prevailing there.