By David Uka, Abakaliki
Youths from Ebonyi and Cross River states under the aegis of Ebonyi/Cross River Youth Peace Ambassadors, have regretted going into inter-communal conflict between themselves lately, saying ignorance pushed them to fight each other.
They said all seeming differences ravaging the boundaries communities of the two states, would henceforth, be resolved through peaceful conflict resolution processes, instead of “waging war against one another.”
The Youths in a communique issued after a meeting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and signed by its President-General, Barr Pascal Nwenyi; Secretary, Ovunna Dickland; Okpokpo Inawo, Publicity Secretary, noted that they foolishly went into the ‘unholy’ war , without remembering the age long benefits both States had enjoyed from one another, over the years.
Recall that there had been communal hostilities between the people of Ukelle in the Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State and their neighbours in Igbe Agu, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State which has claimed many lives and millions of properties lost.
The boundary dispute between these communities dates back to 2005 when the two neighbours that had hitherto lived together peacefully and even inter-married, clashed over some lands.
The youths, who also said till date, the real cause of the crisis had not been ascertained, added that they made the worse mistake of their lives, when they waged war amongst themselves without waiting for the National Boundary Commission, whose responsibility is to trace and demarcate boundaries, to carry out its job on the boundaries between the two states.
The youth Ambassadors also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to forgive them, for ever engaging in the inter-communal war.
They equally extended their plea for forgiveness to Governors David Umahi and Prof. Ben Ayade, of Ebonyi and Cross River States respectively, maintaining that the recent conflict between the two sister states, were avoidable.
The communique read in part, “Ignorance pushed us into the war. We shouldn’t have gone to the extent of fighting ourselves. We fought over nothing, not even remembering benefits both states have enjoyed from each other over the years.
“It was an unholy war and it never did us any good. It has rather substracted economically and humanly from both states. This is not good for us and the nation as a whole. We apologise to the Almighty God, the Governments of Ebonyi and Cross River States; we equally apologise to President Buhari and ask for their forgiveness. We regret our despicable action and promise that it will never repeat itself.”
They appealed to the Federal government and other international donor agencies to come to their aid in assisting the Internally Displaced persons in the area that were displaced as a result of the Communial War.