Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Sunday hinted that he and his Ebonyi State, David Umahi, were working assiduously to end hostilities between communities at the borderline of both states.
Ortom dropped the hint during the Thanksgiving Mass for the official commissioning of a Catholic Parish House built at Holy Cross Parish, Ogbolokuta, Ulayi in the Ado Local Government Area of the state.
He noted that for the hostilities between the people of the Ezza community of Ado local government and Ebonyi State, he was working in collaboration with Governor, David Umahi to end the incessant conflict between the two brothers.
The governor further disclosed that the peace meeting between the two state governments will be held in the area as a show of commitment to bring the crises to a stop so that the people will return to their homes.
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Ortom who is the first governor of the state to have visited the Ezza community since the creation of the state in 1976 told people that boundaries were meant for administrative convenience and not to divide people.
He said that the Ezza people, though Igbo speaking, were bonafide indigenes of Benue State and must be protected by the government.
He also assured them that there was an ongoing process for the amendment of the chieftaincy law of the state, saying, “Ezza community must also be given the opportunity to lead their people” through the appointment of traditional rulers.
He urged the people who deserted their homes as a result of the hostilities to return to their places and be vigilant in reporting any security breach, assuring that able-bodied young men from the Ezza community will be drafted into the next batch of the State Community Volunteer Guards to help curb insecurity.
Earlier in a homily, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo, Most Rev. Michael Ekwoyi Apochi encouraged the faithful to imbibe charity work to fellow human beings, stating that doing so was to God Himself on which account entry into heaven will be determined.
In his welcome remarks, the Parish Priest of Holy Cross Catholic Church Ogbolokuta, Rev. Fr. Solomon Alexander Ujah expressed profound appreciation to Governor Ortom for building a Parish House for the Church and prayed to God to reward his sacrifice.
The cleric also appealed to the governor to further look into the challenges of the Ezza community, which he pointed out was ravaged by insecurity, lack of access roads, as well as the non-existence of a health facility to serve the community.