By Yemi Itodo
Following the protracted crises that have continued to rock Ondo/Ogobia Communities of Ugboju District in Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State, a high profile peace meeting, involving prominent sons and daughters of both communities has been held in Abuja.
The in-house rancour, which has led to loss of over 50 lives and property, has been lingering for over 3 years.
Fortnight ago, the hoodlums attacked the 2 communities, killing over ten people, amongst them was a retired Army Major, Lawrence Ugbor, who was burnt alive inside his car.
Consequently, the Nigeria Police made some arrests in connection to the mayhem while a former Chairman of Otukpo local government council, suspected to be one of the masterminds, Ijachi Udeh has been declared wanted by the Police.
In a meeting held in Abuja at the weekend, at the instance of Ugboju Country Club, succeeded in brokering peace between the two warring factions.
It was also gathered that, the meeting was anchored by the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria and the Ogigo’mebe of Ugboju, Amb (Dr) Dickson Akoh, President of the Club, Mr. Gabriel Iduh and member representing Adoka/Ugboju State Constituency at Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Adam John Okloho.
The peace forum was also attended by representatives of the warring factions, prominent among who are Dr. Mike Enokela Efu, Pharm. Garba Dollar Audu, Barr. Peter Omale, Arch Ogoh Ojila, Mr. Owoicho Ocheni, Inalegwu Amola, Hon. Adakole Adanu, Hon. John Ojila, Thomas Ejugwu Amola, among others.
A statement issued by the President of Ugboju Country Club by its President, Gabriel Idajili Iduh and made available to newsmen on Monday, “the two warring parties agreed to a cease fire, while members of UCC also agreed to visit Ondo/Ogobia for on-the-spot assessment of the situation.
“The forum condemned in very strong terms, those powerful individuals behind the perpetrators of this dastardly act, it also appreciated the State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, the Otukpo Local Government Chairman, Hon. George Ali and every other stakeholder, who have worked assiduously for peace to return to the hitherto peaceful and united agrarian communities.
“The meeting finally called on the federal government, the state government and good spirited private individuals, to collaborate with the Ugboju Country Club in its quest to ensure lasting peace in the warring communities”.
The statement also quoted the forum as “calling on the federal government to set up a high-powered panel to investigate the crisis with a view to bringing to book those behind it”.