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Despite The Peace, The Ebijakara People Of Abi LGA Are Still Living Outside Their Community

In Nigeria today, there is strong evidence everywhere that, most states are currently confronted with legions of violence, conflicts and wars that threaten local, state and national integration. 

A typical example of this scenario is the Ebijakara community which has since been completely displaced by the Ebom community in 2006 land dispute without adequate effort made to help resettle the displaced persons of Ebijakara to date.


The great people of Ebijakara in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State has expressed displeasure on why they should continue living outside their own community as strangers, meanwhile the Ebom people are comfortably residing it their community even after peace was made.


In an extensive interview with one of sons of Ebijakara who pleaded anonymous who narrated the story of how the whole land matter started, mentioned that the Ebom people has refused to return to their land, which has resulted to the Ebijakara not getting spaces to live or build houses.

He also stated that the people of Ebijakara are suffering from political, social, economic marginalization and inequality at the governmental level, segregation and no regard as one of the community that sum up the number of communities that makes up Bahomono Nation.

His words; "I went to Usumutong to cover an event, surprisingly discovered that the people of Ebijakara are still residing in Usumutong despite the peace that has returned in Bahomono axis of Abi Local Government Area, Cross River State; Nigeria."

"I called someone around the village and asked why the people of Ebijakara are still in Usumutong, and he said “the people of Ebom who are residing in Ebijakara land, built houses in Ebijakara land, and because of that most of them that built houses in Ebijakara land are opposing the return following that the people of Ebom are saying that the people of Ebijakara will no longer live as they use to live before the war."

"My question here is this, despite the peace that has return in Bahomono, does the people of Ebom bigger than the Bahomono Nation? And also, does the people of Ebom bigger than Abi Local Government or Cross River State and Nigeria at large?"

"In Supreme Court of 26th January 1917, the judgment was between ABERIBA (Ebijakara) and Ebom which the judgment was in favour of Ebijakara."

"The judgment: I quote “the accused given three (3) months to quit complainant Iwara’s land. For the trespass accused fined to pay (£5) Five pounds or three (3) months imprisonment with HARD LABOUR”.

"The accused Ovai Okpata Amoramo of Ebom paid the fine. The case was Chief Iwara of Aberiba (Ebijakara) complainant versus Chief Okpata of Ebom the Defendant."

"The accused compiled with the court’s judgment, paid the FINE and within three (3) months quitted the complainant’s land of Aberiba (Ebijakara)."

"There were no more cases of trespass by Ebom, this brought relief to Ebijakara of Ebom problems."

"The question here is: where did Ebom quit to? 

On the 23rd day of January 1972, Chief Edward U. Iwara of Ebijakara consented a perpetual lease of a portion of land situated on the right hand side of the road leading to Igonigoni to the government to build a health center for the two communities (as contained in the Ebom Ebijakara resolution of 23rd January 1972)."

"On the 10th January 1981, the people of Ebijakara lease a portion of land situated on the right hand side of the road leading to Igonigoni to the Assemblies of God church (as contained in the agreement between Assemblies of God Church and the people of Ebijakara)."

"If truly document have shown that the land in question belong to the people of Ebijakara, what is so difficult for the people of Ebijakara to return back to their land either with the help of Bahomono, Abi Local Government, Cross River State and Nigeria at large?"

"I was also made to understand that the people of Ebom have their ancestral land where they built their secondary school, and also a beach opposite Ndibe beach of Ebonyi State and that there is a motorable constructed road from Usumutong to the land of Ebom that lead to Ebom beach (Rehat-Ekpoi) and their farms also."

"The question is, what is so special about the land of Ebijakara that the people of Ebom does not want to leave?"

"Politically, the people of Ebom have a Representative member in Cross River State House of Assembly in person of Hon. Davis Etta, and Hon. Counselor in the Local Government level in person of Hon. Monday Ubah, Supervising Counselor; all from Ebom."

"Whereas Ebijakara has always been robbed in political matters all because they are minority; remember this two communities share the same council ward."

"The people of Ebijakara have a supervising counselor, whereas the people of Ebom also have together with the two vital positions (House of Assembly member, a counselor and a supervising counselor) and the people of Ebijakara have only but one position at the Local Government level, which is a supervising counselor, that is three-to-one (3-1), forgetting the fact that these two communities share the same council ward."

"The people of Ebijakara are suffering from political, social, economic marginalization and inequality at the governmental level, segregation and no regard as one of the community that sum up the number of communities that makes up Bahomono Nation."

"Remember in January 11th to 15th 2006 at exactly 10:45am, the people of Ebijakara were engaged in a physical war by the people of Ebom, where the people of Ebijakara were forcefully chased out of their land on the 15th January 2006 at exactly 10:45am, their houses were demolished with modern sophisticated weapons and leveled to the ground."

"Since then the people of Ebijakara have been going through several challenges, call it; social, political, economically and other forms of abuse."

"Thanks to the executive chairman (Hon. Faratoh Robinson) of Abi Local Government that through his reign has brought peace which the most happiest people behind the peace are the people of Ebijakara."

"After which, the people of Ebijakara went to cultivate in their farm land and the people of Ebom reported them to Local Government Council, why the people of Ebijakara should come and cultivate without their permission; imagine a case where a tenant is asking the landlord to ask for permission before entering his/her home, because he or she has gone out for too long, so while coming back, should be permitted by his or her tenant before entering his/her home."

"I was also told here that Bahomono with the inclusion of council members Abi Local Government Area, went to Ebijakara land to supervised a portion of land for farming and cultivation by the people of Ebijakara to avoid intimidation or harassment from their tenant; while the Bahomono and the council will decide of the return of Ebijakara; someone that has a land, property, you will now decide on how and when to use it, anyways, thanks to them."

"Having said that, is the peace a sincere peace or a politically motivated move by some people? If this is the case, then, this is injustice in highest order."

"I hereby called on Cross River State Government, Human Rights, Nigeria and all concern citizens of peace makers to intervene for the return of Ebijakara to their land."

"Your comment is highly welcome."

Thanks.

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Abi Ebijakara Ebom Nigeria The Peace

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