By Ebriku John Friday, Abuja
The Mbebe Peoples Assembly in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State on Thursday besieged the National Assembly in a peaceful protest over the the lingering boundary dispute between theme and the people of Izzi in Abakaliki local government area of Ebonyi State.
The group which decried the ongoing killings of its citizens over the boundary dispute between the communities of the two states, said they have been neglected and marginalized.
The president of the group, Hon King Ominyi, who lead the protest in company of its members submitted a protest letter addressed to the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara called on the leaders to mandate the National Boundary Commission to visit the area for a proper delineation of the disputed land to forestall further hostilities and killings.
Receiving the protesters a representative of the Sergeant At Arm of the National Assembly, Mr Ikechukwu Anaribe assured the group that their message will be forwarded to the leaders concerned.
The Mbebe people, who defied the rain of the day to press home their demand, observed a minute silence for their brothers and sisters killed in the ongoing communal dispute.
Hon Ominyi while speaking on its demands said, “It is quite sad however, we lament the fact that our people are missing on daily basis, they are being kidnapped and killed in cold blood, all because they want our land, thereby making the innocent people to develop cold feet in their own land, but let us disappoint you that our land belongs to know one but us, we are not ready to concede or cede any part of Osopong land to any State in this country.
“Within Cross River State, the war between Nko and Nyima Communities in Yakurr L.G.A against Onyadama Community in Obubra which seemed to have ended is now showing signs of relapse, that is, it was just a truce and is quite worrisome. Recently Onyadama indigene was killed in cold blood by the Nko people which means that they are still nurturing the feelings of war against the Onyadama Community in Obubra. That war has taken scores of lives in Obubra and destroyed properties worth millions of Naira.
“It is quite doleful that government in its capacity is claiming ignorance of all these afflictions and agony of Mbembe people in Obubra inspite of the flagrant killing and destruction in the land. We frown in totality at the blatant injustice, rejection and denial of the government against us as a people in this country. We must not go in extinction in our own country.
He said further, our humble demand from the government is clear and simple. The situation in Obubra generally is a testament of huge government neglect of the people, we decry this disappointment as very disheartening and disgraceful. It is on this note that we vociferously request government mobilization of a team of boundary commission to peg the boundary between Ebonyi State and Cross River State to ward off the pogrom against our people.
Other demands by the group include that, “Government should immediately intervene in the clash between the boundary Communities in Osopong ward I and II Obubra, Cross River State and the Communities in Ebonyi State to avoid further mayhem and ensure lasting peace among the neighboring Communities in the Country.
“That Government should urgently send relief materials to victims of Osopong ward I and II and other victims to cushion the effect of the war.
“The Government should through the boundary commission properly demarcate the boundary between Cross River State and the neighboring Ebonyi State to ensure peaceful coexistence between the two states.
“Government should without further delay reclaim the land belonging to the Ofonikpan people in Obubra that were driven away by the neighboring Ikom Local Government in Cross River State.
“Government should proffer lasting solutions to the boundary dispute between Nko, Nyima in Yakurr Local Government and Onyadama in Obubra Local Government all in Cross River State to forestall further breakdown of law and avoid future reoccurrence of clashes amongst the communities.
“We also call on the Government to mount a military post (Fortalice) in Osopong Ward I and II to avoid further breakdown of law and order, by this the Government would be performing its duty of protecting lives and properties of the citizenry.
“And finally, the injustice meted on us during the recent police ASP Cadet recruitment which has been confirmed by the Public Complaint Commission after their investigation should be corrected forthwith.”