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Tiv people lay claim to Cross River airstrip, Obudu Mountain Resort

Some youth leaders in Otangwala  and Bebi communities in Obanliku LGA of Cross River State have alleged that some members of the neighbouring  Tiv community…

Some youth leaders in Otangwala  and Bebi communities in Obanliku LGA of Cross River State have alleged that some members of the neighbouring  Tiv community are encroaching on their land.

Their spokesman, Amos Ushie, told a group of journalists on a visit to Obudu Mountain Resort which is close to the communities.

He expressed the fear that a very serious and perennial inter-state boundary conflict between Cross River and Tiv people of Benue State may soon erupt.

“In the last 10 years or more, there has been steady encroachment by mostly the Tiv of Benue State on a good part of Obanliku LGA of Cross River State, which is a shouting distant to villages in Benue State.

“I can tell you that no fewer than 100 houses, clinics, schools, mechanic workshops and offices of National Union of Road Transport Union workers belong to Benue indigenes and more are springing up in our communities.’’

Ushie said the influx of the Tiv people has increased in recent times.

“As it looks, it would be extremely difficult for these Tiv people to be pushed out of our land. Since they were not challenged at the onset when they began to encroach, it would be very difficult now that they have entrenched and grabbed massive portions of our lands to build houses and other structures. They are even pointing to the airstrip and the mountain resort as possibly situated on their ancestral land,” he said.

Niger Delta Trust reports that one of the areas allegedly taken over is close to the Donald Duke Airstrip popularly known as the Bebi Airstrip.

One of the Tiv community leaders, Mr Amos Philips, insisted that the portions of land up to the Bebi airstrip are the ancestral land of the Tiv people and that it was wrong for the Duke government to have sited the airstrip.

Reacting, the chairman of Obanliku Local Government Area, Peggy Inde, said he was aware of the claims by the Tiv people.

He said officials of the council were meeting with their Benue State counterparts, adding “We are on it”.

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