Cephas Iorhemen, Makurdi
The warring people of Ipusu and Mbawa communities of Tyomu in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State Thursday resolved to sheathe their swords and embrace peace following the intervention of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
At the reconciliatory meeting held at the NKST Church Lortyer in Makurdi, leaders of the warring sides (Ipusu and Mbawa), expressed their readiness to end the crisis and commended CAN leadership for intervening in the crisis assuring that they were ready to embrace peace for the development of the state.
They lamented the effect of the crisis which bordered on hunger and poverty and resolved that sales of land within the area of conflict be suspended, all court cases stopped and those arrested in connection with the crisis released as part of the reconciliation move.
Addressing stakeholders at the reconciliatory meeting, the CAN Chairman, Rev. Akpen Leva, who lamented the destruction caused by the crisis, noted that people of the state were surrounded by enemies who are ready to take over the state and the continued crisis would weaken the people before their enemies.
Rev. Leva noted that the church was worried by the crisis which has not only claimed lives but property worth millions of naira and appealed to the warring communities to lay down their arms and embrace peace which according to him was the sure way of attracting development to their communities.
The Chairman of Makurdi Local Council, Mr. Anthony Dyege, represented by his deputy, Frank Mbashinnya, lauded the initiative of the church to bring the crisis to an end.
In his remarks, the acting Paramount Ruler of Makurdi, Chief Clement Kurugh, who led other traditional rulers to the reconciliatory meeting, decried the devastation caused by the crisis pointing out that efforts had been made at various instances to douse the crisis but it continued unabated and lamented how the people have settled together for a long time and intermarried yet the crisis.