Ndoma-Egba heads Ayade’s peace committee on C’River warring communities
By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
Gov Ben Ayade has appointed the former Senate leader, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, to head the peace, reconciliation and rehabilitation committee on the Ebom/Ebijaghara and Ediba/Usumutong communal crisis.
The crisis which had claimed many lives with attendant destructions of means of liveliood and properties, is believed to have started in early seventies.
In a chat with reporters shortly after being sworn in as Chairman of the committee, alongside other members, the former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) lauded the governor for setting up the committttee, saying Ayade was indeed seeking a permanent solution to the recurring crisis.
“I believe that since this is coming from government and the Governor himself, and going by the way the Governor spoke during the inauguration with a lot of passion, a lot of emotion, I believe the Governor is sincere, ” he said.
On logistics to carry out the onerous duty, Ndoma Egba said the Governor had already approved an estimated budget for the assignment and that the committee was waiting for release of funds, which he said, could come in few day’s time.
On how the crisis had lasted, the former Senate leader said “it is surprising that this crisis has remain this long. The very first murder case I handled as a young lawyer was from that community and it was as a result of communal crisis. It was in 1979.
“It has been the same story for years, but the good news is that they, on their own, initiated the peace process. They have sought for and pursued peace.
“What we are doing now is to find a strategy to sustaining the peace process and I believe the first step is to rehabilitate the Ebijaghara people who were misplaced. Let them return to their land, and then give them necessary infrastructure to support them economically,” he stated.
He disclosed further that considering the 30 days time frame given to the committee for the assignment, the job could be intense but that the committee was determined to deliver.
“The truth is that peace and development go together. We cannot have development without first pursuing and maintaining peace. Violence is an argument of a person who has run out of logic,” he stated.