ioi NEWS

Cross River Monarchs Urge Governor Otu to Prioritize Peace Over Ejecting Cocoa Allottees 

Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has received a caution from Traditional Rulers of Mbume Block of Clans in Etung LGA, urging him not to proceed with ejecting allottees of cocoa plots in the area. The caution, issued in Calabar, highlights concerns over potential violence and bloodshed should the allottees be forcibly removed. Despite threats from the previous administration under Ben Ayade, many allottees possess legitimate documentation demonstrating their payments to the government for the allocated plots.

There are approximately 4,552 hectares of cocoa plots in Etung LGA, with the previous administration having allocated 1,415 hectares under Ben Ayade’s leadership. However, Governor Otu’s purported intent to execute the threats of ejectment raises tensions, especially considering that numerous allottees possess genuine papers indicating their payments to the government. Assertions by the Taskforce on cocoa, led by Hon. Cosmos Ebori Nku, dismiss claims of encroachment by allottees onto farmlands.

Ntufam Odu Ndep Moses, Chairman of the Crises Management Committee for Mbume Blocks of Clans, Etung Local Government Area, noted the potential for further violence and urged Governor Otu to reconsider his approach. With 3,137 hectares remaining unallocated from the previous administration, Ndep advocated for their utilization to prevent outbreaks of crises within the host communities. Furthermore, Ndep highlighted the utilization of funds from the previous allotments, emphasizing their contribution towards settling debts owed by the state government to cocoa landlord communities.

Despite assertions of payment into the state government’s coffers by allottees before taking possession of the farms, concerns persist over potential misinformation guiding government decisions. Ndep reiterated the call for restraint, cautioning against any measures that may escalate tensions and lead to violent clashes.

IMAGE: DailyPost

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