Governors warn those causing disaffection between the two communities to desist from doing so.
The Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, and his Kogi State counterpart, Idris Wada, have asked the two warring oil producing communities in the two states to sheathe their sword, assuring that the dispute would soon be resolved.
The communities, Aguleri-Otu in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State, and Odeke Echolo in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State, clashed on Tuesday, over the location of an oil well around their boundary.
Messrs Obi and Wada said at a joint news conference in Abuja on Thursday that they are pursuing the crisis vigorously with a view to getting a resolution that would be beneficial to the disputants.
The governors jointly addressed the press conference following the reports that about 57 people from both communities were killed while over 400 houses were burnt during the latest crisis.
“We’re confident that the issues would be resolved soon and that is why we are confident to come forward to due for peace and to clarify issues,” they said in the text of the press conference, which was addressed at the Kogi State Liaison Office, Asokoro District of the Federal Capital Territory.
“Government has a primary duty to protect lives and property and we assure you that once we you maintain peace and live happily and in peace as you have lived all these years, the issues will be resolved amicably to the satisfaction of every party involved,” they added.
The governors denied the casualty figure reported by the media, saying no single life was lost during the recent crisis though five houses and four motorcycles were destroyed.
The governors’ claim on casualty contradicts that of residents of Odeke Echolo in Kogi, who told the state governor on Tuesday that four people were killed in the community.
The governors, however, assured that their administrations are taking stock of the damages during the crisis with a view to assisting those affected.
The state chief executives also explained that the contention which resulted following the commissioning of a refinery built by Orient Petroleum “are being given the attention by the National Boundary Commission, NBC, on the directives of President Goodluck Jonathan.”
Messrs Obi and Wada disclosed that adequate security measures have been put in place in the two communities just as they pleaded with the indigenes to cooperate with the security agencies to keep the peace in the area.
They also warned those they described as “detractors” to refrain from causing disaffection between the two brotherly states with long affinity as, according to them, the country is in dire need of peace that would attract development.
The governors said NBC would soon conclude the delineation of the boundary, adding that because of the technicalities involved in the exercise, they would not want to put pressure on the commission.