Gov. Ortom seeks end to Benue/Ebonyi boundary strife

Gov. Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has appealed to warring communities of Benue and Ebonyi states which share borders to sheathe their swords and embrace peace for the development of their areas.

The governor made the appeal at the weekend while reacting to the sudden disappearance of nine persons from Ado Local Government Area of the state.

He said: “I want to beg the people of Ebonyi and those in Benue State to sheathe their swords and allow the two state governments to come in and solve this matter.”

There was serious tension in Ado Local Government Area last week as nine people were declared missing in two separate instances.

New Telegraph learnt that the mysterious disappearance of the persons had stirred up worries amid heightened tension among the rural folks.

Council Chairman of Ado LGA, James Oche, told journalists that barely a few days after the first disappearance of two people, another seven persons which brought the number to nine were reported missing in his locality.

He said that the nine missing persons all disappeared on their way to Abakaliki in Ebonyi State through the border communities which share a common boundary with Benue’s Ado Local Government.

Oche said: “It’s actually mysterious; we are still investigating to ascertain what transpired. It all started on 11th of September, 2021 when we received a report of two persons missing and the matter was reported to the police.

“The two people are from Ijigban council wards of Ado. We noticed that the two people were actually going to Abakaliki in Ebonyi and they passed through a short cut (we are bordered by Abakaliki in Ebonyi State). However, we have been having issues with Ezza and Effium which escalated to our (Ado) local government from Ohakwu LG of Ebonyi. We have been investigating and there has been no insight into what transpired.

“Then, on 7th October, another report came to us that seven young men, five of them climbed two motorcycles going to Abakaliki to open an account with GTB and they left Apa ward of Ado Local Government they headed again towards the same direction. They were talking to their people until afternoon when their phones stopped connecting. It was confirmed that they got to the area (crisis) Effium and Ezza. The matter was reported to police since then nothing has been heard about them.”

Meanwhile, Governor Ortom has stressed the need for the communities involved in the crisis to give peace a chance as both state governments were in discussion with the boundary commission to ensure a permanent end to the intractable impasse.

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