From Scholastica Hir, Makurdi

Benue and Cross River states have averted a renewed crisis that would have resurrected a 50 year protracted crisis between their neighbouring communities.

Both state governments have agreed to maintain the harmonial coexistence existing between the two States.

The pledge was coming after a recent incident that almost caused crisis between the two states.

Recall that the people of Tsar Maduku community of Vandeikya Local Government Area (LGA) in Benue state and Obudu community in Cross River state have just ended an age long crisis that had lingered for over 50 years.

Since the crisis ended, they have been living peacefully until the recent trend of cattle supposedly owned by herders of Fulani origin recently, commenced grazing across the Cross River state boundary into Benue state.

It was learnt that some cattle crossed over from Obudu in Cross River to Tsar Mbaduku in Vandeikya local government area of Benue State and were seen grazing along the boundary.

It was alao said that the youths couldn’t wait this time to allow them graze before the cattle were apprehended.

The attention of the Special Adviser to the Benue State Governor on Security and Internal Security, Chief Joseph Har was drawn to the incident and he quickly intervened.

Our correspondent gathered that Har company of his PSA and the State Commander of the Benue State Livestock Guards proceeded to Tsar for an on the spot assessment. Also invited were SA Security North Cross River state, Retired Comptroller Jude Chinebe and other officials of Obudu LGA who met at the border to resolve the issue.

Speaking during the meeting, Har said cattle passed through Obudu into Benue but noted that it did not graze there and no much damage was done.

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He noted that “both Obudu and Tiv people are not known to be cattle rearers, we are both farmers. We are brothers who have fought in the past but have embraced peace now and nobody must be made to come between us.

“If herders or foreigners are allowed to come and graze in our states, that means you have brought enemies to cause division between us.

“And if there is a strike, it is the Obudu people that we know and will discuss with because these other people do not own this place. Let it be clear that if you want this people to be here, let them graze in Obudu.

“In Benue State, we have the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 and our law stands. We do not allow open grazing.

“If after today, cows from Obudu stray into Benue and destroy things, then we would say the Obudu people are the ones looking for trouble.”

Addressing members of the Livestock Guards stationed in Vandeikya, Har said “You have my authority, from today if cattle are seen grazing on Benue land and there is evidence, apprehend them.”

He urged his Cross River counterpart to ensure his people maintain the peace that is currently existing between them so they could live without crisis.

Speaking, the Special Adviser to Cross River State Governor on State Security (North), Retired Comptroller Jude Chinebe noted that cattle from Obudu crossed over to Benue though without damages.

He commended Chief Har for insisting that they visit the site of the incident to see things for themselves and ascertain the truth of the matter.

Describing Har as a man of peace and truth, Chinebe urged his people in Obudu community to respect the laws of their neighbouring Benue State.

He said “Benue State is against open grazing and the law must be respected.”

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