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Wed, Sep 13, 2023 8:50 PM

Governor imposes curfew on four communities in Cross River State, Nigeria

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Governor imposes curfew on four communities in Cross River State, Nigeria
Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on four communities in Yala Local Government Area due to rising violence and property destruction resulting from land and boundary disputes. The curfew aims to restore peace and stability in the affected areas, while the government also focuses on providing immediate relief efforts and addressing the humanitarian aspect of the crisis.

CALABAR, NIGERIA -- Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on four communities in Yala Local Government Area to curb the rising tide of violence and destruction of property.

The curfew affects the Ugaga, Igbekurekor, Benekaba, and Ijama communities.

The announcement came via a statement issued by the governor's Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche, on Tuesday, September 12, 2023.

According to the governor, the curfew is "necessary following land and boundary disputes which have resulted in security threats leading to wanton destruction of lives and properties."

Governor Otu directed the State Emergency Management Agency to coordinate immediate relief efforts for victims of the ongoing crisis.

He also urged traditional leaders in the affected communities to take swift actions to restore peace and stability, warning that they would be held accountable for any further deterioration in law and order.

"The curfew is to enable security agencies to deal decisively with the situation in the affected communities and restore normalcy," Governor Otu stated in his official announcement. He appealed to residents of the affected areas to "sheath their swords and give peace a chance," while cautioning them to adhere strictly to the curfew in their own interest.

The imposition of the curfew comes as a response to recent clashes over land and boundary issues among the communities, which have escalated to levels causing significant concern for local and state authorities.

While it's not uncommon for such disputes to occur in the region, the magnitude of this particular conflict and its consequent loss of life and property have made it a focal point requiring urgent governmental intervention.

Governor Otu's approach, however, isn't just punitive; it also involves addressing the humanitarian aspect of the crisis.

He has commissioned the State Emergency Management Agency to expedite relief measures such as food, shelter, and medical care for those displaced or affected by the clashes.

As the sun sets each day over these troubled communities, the looming curfew is a physical manifestation of the urgency of the situation.

It serves as both a constraint against further conflict and a temporary measure in the government's struggle to restore lasting peace.

The governor's call for de-escalation and his involvement of traditional leaders in peacekeeping strategies indicate a multi-layered approach to conflict resolution.

However, as the affected communities go into yet another night of forced silence, questions remain about the long-term solutions needed to address the root causes of such deep-seated community disputes.

These disputes over land and boundaries often have historical roots, embedded in cultural and socio-economic factors that cannot be resolved through temporary curfews and relief efforts alone.

To achieve lasting peace, sustainable solutions must encompass comprehensive land reforms, effective conflict resolution mechanisms, and community engagement.

It is crucial for the government to work closely with traditional leaders, local communities, and civil society organizations to address these underlying issues.

Investing in education, infrastructure development, and livelihood opportunities can also play a significant role in reducing the tensions arising from land disputes.

The international community can provide technical expertise, funding, and support to assist the government in implementing long-term interventions that promote peace, stability, and socio-economic development in these conflict-affected areas.

As Cross River State grapples with the immediate challenges posed by the curfew, it must also embrace the opportunity to develop comprehensive strategies that address the root causes of land and boundary disputes.

Only through a holistic and inclusive approach can lasting peace be achieved, ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of all communities within the state.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-13 News

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