Boundary disputes may cause war between Ebonyi, Cross River, says Umahi
The Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi has hinted of a possible outbreak of war between the state and Cross River unless something urgent was done to resolve the boundary disputes in the two states.
Umahi spoke as the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, restated the Nigeria Army’s commitment to remain professional, apolitical and responsive in the discharge of their duties to the country.
They spoke in Enugu yesterday at the commissioning of the urban water treatment plant at the 82 Division cantonment in Abakpa, Enugu, that was built by the army engineers.
The plant has the capacity to deliver one million liters of water per day and would provide potable water to the division neighbouring communities of Abakpa and New Haven axis.
A visibly disturbed Umahi, stressed that the disputes had assumed an alarming dimension following the way people were being slaughtered and houses burnt in Ikwo, Abakaliki, Izzi and other communities, which share boundaries with Cross River, stressing that time had come to take the matter seriously.
He told Buratai that time had come to enforce peace in the affected places to stop a looming war, adding, “It is disheartening to see our people being slaughtered, houses being burnt every day in the name of boundary disputes.
“The stories are quite disturbing and I thank you because the General Officer Commanding (GOC) has demonstrated character and content. He has done everything he could by standing with us, shuttling between Abakaliki and Cross River to see how he could establish peace, but we have challenges and only you can help us.
“It is time to enforce peace at the place and I am happy that you are here because if nothing is done, it has gotten to a point where we could say there is already a war between the two states.”
Buratai said the water treatment plant was aimed at reducing the sufferings of officers of the division noting that large coal deposits in the city had compounded the problem of water shortage in Enugu.
He praised the GOC, 82 Division, Major-Gen AB Abubakar, whom he said, took it upon himself to find solution to the problem in the barracks, adding that the federal government was committed to the welfare of the officers and soldiers.
Also speaking, Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said the realisation of the project would complement the efforts of state government to provide potable water to all parts of the state but that lack of resources had hindered water projects.