..Foreign investors troubled
..FG expresses concern, send delegation to warring communities
..Okum monarch assures on peace talks with Adun clan
By Ike Uchechukwu
OBUBRA- THE recurrent bloody hostilities over land among communities along the Ikom-Calabar Highway, especially Obubra Local Government Area, Cross River State, are unnecessarily unsettling business at the Calabar Free Trade Zone, CFTZ.
General Manager of CFTZ, Engr. Okimba Ekpe, who raised the alarm when he led a high-powered delegation to the traditional ruler of Okum, one of the warring clans in a boundary dispute with Adun tribe, HRH Ovarr Robert Mbina Ajom III, at his Apiapum Palace in Obubra, said the Federal Government was worried about the negative consequences of the communal clashes, which have disrupted activities in the zone.
Economic and social activities
He said that foreign investors, who use Ikom-Calabar highway to transport raw materials for the various factories operating in the zone, were not comfortable with the disturbances, which had also affected economic and social activities in the area, appealing to the royal father to prevail on his subjects to eschew violence and embrace peace.
Set apart boundary – Monarch
Responding, the Ohorodo of Okum enjoined the Boundary Commissions of the Federal and State Governments to properly demarcate the boundary between Adun and Okum clans to avert further bloodbath in the area.
Fools fight themselves: The monarch, however, noted: “Only fools engage in a war with their own. This kind of hostility is old and no longer acceptable and we, as a people will no longer condone such. As the monarch of Okum clan, which is at loggerheads with our Adun brothers, I am very bitter. We are a very peaceful people and this is not who we are and like I said earlier, we can longer accept this, it must end now.
“As I speak to you, I do not really understand where the problem is coming from. It is not in our nature to kill or maim, we do not have that culture of killing ourselves. In the first place, what are we struggling for, just a piece of farmland that the forefathers of the two clans, who lived peacefully together all their lives left behind,” he bemoaned.
Land belongs to Okum: The monarch, nonetheless, stated that the then Austine Arbitration in a judgment in 1931 during the reign of Ovarr Nbina Ajom I, declared the land in contention to belong to the people of Okum, adding: “Let our people both from Okum and Adun continue to co-exist peacefully, what has happened here should not deter us from coming back together because the more we stay apart, the more the devil work on us.”
Peace talks arrangement
His words: “We are going to meet and perfect peace talk arrangements, we will continue to meet, so that we can come out with a blueprint and a communiqué that will be acceptable to the Adun and Okum people. My passionate appeal to the people is to avoid war and further bloodshed and settle our differences on a round table.”
Most distressing mayhem in Obubra: The mindless killings and destruction of property in the renewed hostilities between the people of Ababene community and their Iyamitet neighbours in Adun and Okum clans have been adjudged the most devastating in the history of communal clashes in the area.
Scores of people were gruesomely murdered and property worth millions of naira destroyed in the orgy of violence.
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