*By David Uka, Abakaliki*
Ebonyi and Cross River States have agreed to end hostilities arising from various border disputes between them. They also agreed to embark on construction of bridges and roads to further cement the bond of brotherhood.
While Ebonyi state government is to construct 600 metres bridge
across Oferekpe River in Ikwo axis and 500 metres bridge at Ndibe Beach in Afikpo, Cross River state will undertake the construction 7.2km road to link up with the Federal high way
coming in from Ogada in Cross River State to Oferekpe in Ebonyi state as well as 19km road linking Ndibe beach to Ugep or a 17km road linking Ndibe beach to Adim.
This was part of a ten point communique issued after a bilateral meeting between officials of Cross River and Ebonyi State Governments held in Port Harcourt, River State.
The meeting which was convened and co-chaired by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State and his Cross River state counterpart, Prof Ben Ayade also resolved to end hostilities along their boundary areas.
To achieve this, both Governors directed the representatives of the warring communities in attendance to return to their various communities and sensitize them on the way forward with a view to proffering solutions to the challenges at the disputed areas.
They also resolved that both states should submit a position paper on their boundary claims, relevant legal documents, maps and communiques of previous meetings within 30 days while arbitrators including the National Boundary Commission, as third arbitrator, would be appointed.
It would be recalled that the two sister States have been involved in a boundary war which has claimed many lives and properties worth millions of naira .
As part of the communique, both states would carry out disarmament of the combatants and thereafter grant amnesty to those who shall willingly handover dangerous weapons in their possession within a period of 90 days from 7th of August 2018.
The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State Dr. Kelechi Igwe, traditional rulers and stakeholders from both states.