Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has appealed to the the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to prevail on his Cross River State counterpart, Ben Ayade, to tow his line by suspending political office holders from the communities involved in the raging inter boundary disputes with some parts of Ebonyi State.
Umahi made the appeal on Tuesday when he received on a courtesy call the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 6, Musa Kimo, at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki.
Umahi, who maintained that political office holders were the major sponsors of the fighters, said the mutual adoption of the suspension measures to block their sources of fund would bring the stakeholders to terms of peace.
According to Umahi, he decided to further withhold salaries of some civil servants fingered in the disputes to add further strength to the measures and called on the Cross River State Government to borrow a leaf from him.
Umahi lamented that one of the reasons the crises seemed to linger was because the fighters have outgrown their sponsors
He however maintained that relative peace has returned to some of the disputed borders through the cooperative efforts of government, security agencies and the stakeholders of the area.
He described the visit of the AIG as timely and commended the State Police Commissioner, Awotunde Awosola, for his prompt interventions.
Umahi said: “With your pedigree, a man of great wisdom, I know that you can put myself and the Governor of Cross River to task towards ending these crises.
“I suspended all the traditional rulers and all the government appointees and elected office holders in those areas.
“And I have called the Governor of Cross River and asked him to suspend his own people as I did and I know that no Commissioner of Police can make peace in the area unless the concerned Cross River and Ebonyi States communities agree and that is when we can put boundary for them.
“So I want you to talk to the Governor of Cross River State.
“Who knows, it could be that God brought us to governance at this time so that lives could be saved.
“So I want you to prevail on him to emulate what we have done in our State so that he can do the same to bring these people to understanding so that they can turn to peace.”
Kimo said he was in the State on the orders of the Inspector General of Police to assess the situation in the disputed areas as well as launch the “Operation Puff Adder” aimed at combating the crises.
He noted that the happening of recent in Ebonyi State, especially in Ikwo and Izzi Local Government Areas, has become a source of worry to even President Muhammadu Buhari, saying: “I think it is just proper for me to come and appeal to them to sheath their swords.”
Kimo commended Umahi for his proactive measures to bringing the crises to a halt, including suspension of some political office holders.
He described the Governor as a holy and courageous man whose actions have highly encouraged security officers.in the State
He further confirmed that in cooperation and synergy with other Security agencies in the State with those in Cross River they have been able to arrest some of the unscrupulous elements that have been making life unbearable for the people with their arms and ammunition.
The Zone 6 Police Command with headquarters in Calabar, Cross River State, comprises Police formations and commands in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Rivers States.