23rd February, 2022
By Nicholas Dechi
Governor Samuel Ortom has called for lasting peace between the Egba and Ologba clans in the Agatu Local Government Area of the state.
He made the call on Wednesday, during the signing of the Agatu Natural Resource Peace Agreement between the Egba and the Ologba clans in Agatu.
Represented by his Special Adviser on SDGs/NEPAD, Prof. Magdalene Dura, the governor called stakeholders to work with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue to bring lasting peace to the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state that are experiencing various forms of conflicts.
After decades, 20 clans from the Agatu community signed a peace agreement on the sharing of resources that also covers free movement in the area and the safe return of thousands of displaced people.
The peace deal was brokered by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD).
”As we sign today, leaving behind misgivings and grievances accumulated over the last 50 years, go back and do more for peace.
“I appeal to the centre to also work towards bringing peace between farmers and herders.
”We appreciate the centre for the peace process which culminated in the signing of the peace agreement,” he said.
Also speaking, the Regional Director of the centre, Dr Babatunde Afolabi disclosed that it was the first time that the communities would end their differences by signing a natural resource-specific peace agreement in Nigeria.
“We are, therefore, proud and happy to share this unique history with you.
“We have managed to facilitate dialogue and help the Agatu community especially the Egba and Ologba clans agree on how best to manage the lingering disputes between them on the ownership, sharing and management of their fish ponds,” Afolabi said.
Also, Prof. Armstrong Adejo, a Professor of History at the Benue State University (BSU), in his keynote address said that conflict was not healthy for any society because it causes hunger, poverty, and loss of lives and property.
”Peace has a lot of benefits,” he said.
Also contributing, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayaitse who was represented by Mr Iorbee Ihagh, appealed to the centre to engage Bonta and Okpute communities in Konshisha and Oju LGAs to agree on a peaceful resolution of their feud.
Also, the Och’ Idoma, Dr John Elaigwu, charged his subjects to take the peace agreement serious.