The Parliament Diary

By: Atibile Williams.

It is bloodbath in Ochongo and Ijiegun communities of Yache political ward in Yala 1 state constituency, Cross River state as invaders of Tiv extraction in Benue state attacked a delegation sent to mediate unlawful taking over of their farmlands by Tiv farmers leaving one death and others injured with properties worth millions of naira destroyed.

In a motion of urgent public importance sponsored 26 July, 2023 by Hon. Brian Odey, representing Yala 1 state constituency at the floor of Cross River state House of Assembly, he wept for constituents currently displaced by daredevil activities with no hope insight while calling on urgent intervention of Cross River state government and colleagues in ameliorating sufferings of the rural dwellers denied basic livelihood.
He added that the unrest has impacted negatively on women, children and farmers who can no longer access their farms for fear of the unknown. His words

“Right now, my people are under threats as they can no longer go to farms. These attackers have moved from the normal camp to various bushes and farmlands armed against my people.
As I talk to you, the women, farmers, and students can’t go to their endeavors anymore.
My people are predominantly farmers relying solely on farm produce for survival.

“The Tiv people from Benue state camps in Ochongo and Ijegun communities in Yache ward, Yala 1 state constituency.

“Before now, they normally pay their royalty to us before using our farmlands for farm. This season, they went ahead using the land without negotiations.
When the communities sent delegates to them for enquiry, they (Tiv) decided to attack our people leaving one death and others injured.
Those Tiv people are very wicked. They slaughter humans like animals.
How do you stay in somebody’s community and still attack the person.” He exclaimed.

The only Labour party lawmaker in the 10th Assembly of Cross River state prayed the state government to deploy relevant security agencies to these localities and bring perpetrators to book.

“All I want the House and Executive to do is to send all relevant security agencies to these localities to restore peace and order.
All perpetrators should be made to face full wrath of the law.

“To avoid a state war or state crisis, the Executive should urgently arrest the matter so that it will not escalate.
There is no security intervention yet as we speak.

“Yes, there’s a divisional police station in Yala local government, but they won’t act until oder is given from above.
To worsen matters, the communities under siege are very far from the police station.” He said

Other parliamentarians who contributed to the humane motion pressed on urgent measures that will restore status of said lands to ancestral owners in line with the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended which confered land ownership on inhabitants.

Others said a security threat to Yala, christined food basket of Cross River spells doom for the people’s paradise state in terms of food security. The lawmakers called for deployment of state security apparatus through the office of state security Adviser to the governor in partnership with other stakeholders as according to them hostility breeds fatality.
Again, the option for deployment of both state and federal boundary Commissions gained priority during deliberations.

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