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19 Jul 2017

2 rival Cross River communities sign pact after 150 people were murdered

Wanihem and Wanikade communities in Ukelle in Yala local government area of Cross River state have signed a peace pact after about 150 people were allegedly murdered during a communal clash between the two communities.

The peace pact was signed at the end of reconciliation meeting held at Mfuma in South Ukelle in Yala local government area of the state.

The people of the two communities ambushed each other, using sophisticated weapons including guns, irons, machetes and charms to murder each other and at the end, about 150 were allegedly killed while property including houses, furniture, cash, electronics, vehicles, motorcycles and other valuables estimated at billions of naira were destroyed.

The communiqué, our investigations revealed was in furtherance to the peace process initiated by Ukelle people . Several meetings had been held on this subject and today the Ukelle people have resolved that there must be a permanent seize-fire from both communities.

It was also gathered that all the traditional rulers and leaders of thought of both communities were enjoined to ensure that absolute peace returns and that, there should be free movement and social interactions between the two communities. Accordingly, all routes/entrances to both communities should be totally devoid of harassment and blockages.

The communiqué was signed by twelve member committee including the Chairman, Chief Hon. Dr. Matthew Igelle Ekpe, Barr. Alex Edim, Secretary, Mr. Michael O. Agara, Hon. Christian Ede, Mr. Anthony Ede, Hon. Joseph Ijoko and Hon. Solomon Ubut- Members.

Other members are Mr. Gabriel Obak, Chief Otobi Peter, Evang. Usang Paul, Mrs. Monica Adie and Mrs. Martina Odom as members. The warring communities resolved that members of both communities should be allowed to go on their normal businesses, including markets, burials, religious worships, etc.

They warned that hate speeches, unguarded utterances and boastful tendencies including social media should stop forthwith and thank the State and Federal government for their prompt intervention, wishing that they continue to sustain the security operatives until peace and security is fully restored.

The committee recommended that with the existing peace, boundary and reconciliation committee should expedite action and report appropriately to the Ukelle people, and that the State government should as a matter of urgency, constitute a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the crisis to ensure a lasting solution to peace in these communities.

The people also resolved that the government should facilitate the return of the Internally Displaced Persons and to create an enabling environment for their rehabilitation, and that a truth and reconciliation committee should be constituted, with membership across the thirteen (13) clans of Ukelle, with clear-cut terms of reference at ensuring peace and security in Ukelle.

It further resolved that the entire Ukelle should be encouraged to continue to live in peace like brothers and sisters, that there should be regular consultation between Ukelle at home and in the Diaspora towards strengthening peace & harmony at home. It was also resolved that any community that is sighted fermenting trouble should be reported to the peace committee and the law enforcement agency.

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