Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has expressed concern over the Yache-Ijiegu community feud with the Tiv settlers of Benue State, which resulted in several casualties and property damage a few months ago.
He described the incident as very sad and unnecessary.
In July 2023, a prolonged dispute between the Tiv people of Benue State residing in the Yache-Ijiegu community of Yala LGA in Cross River State escalated into a full-blown conflict.
This ensued after the Tivs refused to continue paying royalties for their properties and settlement in the community.
The governor conveyed his thoughts when the Yache Community, led by Senator Steven Odey, visited him in his office in Calabar.
Otu expressed his gratitude, stating, “Let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming all the way to my office, as Yache from Calabar is almost a day’s journey. Recently, we found ourselves in a needless war. It is disheartening that people are attacked in their homes while they sleep.
“I received a call around 2:30 am when the conflict broke out, and I immediately took action. Though lives were lost, we effectively managed to control the situation.”
Governor Otu assured the Yache elders and members that his government would promptly address the repair of the road and the only bridge connecting the community and the city.
“I can assure you that we will swiftly mobilize to complete the bridge. Despite the prevalent poor road conditions in the state, we will prioritize the ones we can immediately fix. We will also continue to strengthen our traditional institutions and hold them in high esteem to ensure they command the respect they deserve.”
Earlier, Senator Odey, leader of the delegation, visited the governor’s office to congratulate him on his recent victory at the Appeal Court and to express their appreciation. They assured the governor of their willingness to support all programs, projects, and policies of the state government.
“We, the people of Yache community, wholeheartedly appreciate you for granting us this opportunity. It gives us the impression that His Excellency has a soft spot for the Yache people. The road to Yache is a complete nightmare, considering the productivity level and voting strength of the people. Additionally, Yache community is the shortest route to Abuja through a few communities in Benue State,” Senator Odey said.
He also commended the governor for his prompt intervention during the communal war with neighboring Benue State, while appealing for a permanent solution to the crisis.