Residents of Boki local government area in Cross River state are presently living under serious tension as angry youth battle for the control of Borum Palm Estate. Reacting to the incident, the chairman of Ochibe Boki, Maj.- Gen. Moses Obi (retd), appealed to all the parties involved to exercise restraint and explore peaceful as well as acceptable mechanisms in resolving their grievances. He, in a press statement titled “Message of Peace and Love,” expressed displeasure over the “senseless anxiety that this unwarranted situation has created, particularly the compromise of the cherished peaceful co-existence and security of the people.”
“I feel pained; I remain committed to contributing, in whatever way I can, in helping our government and our institutions, to help us,” he said. Also, other concerned Boki sons and daughters, within and outside Nigeria, joined their voices to express sadness and condemn “this pathetic upheaval that has engulfed the people.” Social agent activist and human rights lawyer, Dr. Joseph Odok, accused the Cross River state government of conspiracy and keeping silent over the brouhaha.
He recalled that Ochibe Boki had been at the vanguard of proffering solution since the crisis erupted over one year ago, but noted that the government had done “nothing to complement existing peace efforts.
” “Some appointees of Ayade have groomed boys that have snowballed into two groups to protect their interest in the estate. Proceeds of the palm estate have been used to buy guns and the boys have become so powerful that they now respect no chief or elder,” he posted on his Facebook page.
According to him, chairman of the umbrella body in an open outcry had earlier called on Governor Benedict Ayade to rapidly intervene by deploying security personnel to help salvage lives and properties. “I join my voice with that of Ochibe Boki to call the security apparatus in the state to step in to save lives.”
“Too many lives have been lost and property destroyed because of the government’s failure to respond timely and address issues of security breaches. “I make this call before the break down of law and order between Osokom people and Oku community.”