The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, says the Federal Government is committed to working with relevant stakeholders with a view to resolving communal conflicts across the country.
Mustapha made this known on Tuesday in Abuja at a roundtable discussion organised by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) to resolve the Cross River-Ebonyi boundary/communal conflicts.
The theme of the roundtable is, “Sustainable Solutions on the Boundary Disputes/Conflicts Between Cross River and Ebonyi States.”
Represented by Mrs Veronica Agugu, Director, Public Affairs in his office, Mustapaha noted that the Federal Government had made interventions in the crises between the two states in the past without success.
“Government will continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to adopt a systemic approach that will holistically address the underlining structures and factors that drive these conflicts.
“It is in this respect that this roundtable discussion becomes imperative and instructive, as it underscores the importance of collaboration with stakeholders as a dependable means for conflict resolution.
“Going forward, I would also want to charge this forum to work out a community-based conflict early warning system to identify and respond to potential triggers of conflict in the affected states,” Mustapha said.
The SGF expressed dismay that in spite of the past efforts, the hostilities still continued with both parties “blatantly and flagrantly’’ refusing to respect a 2015 accord aimed at accelerating the peace process.
The FG, he said, was undaunted in its efforts to end the conflicts, adding, “it would be recalled that the former minister of interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abulrahaman Danbazzau was mandated to look into the matter, to prevent further wanton destruction of lives and property.”
He also charged the National Boundary Commission, NBC, to expedite action on the accurate and transparent delineation of the boundaries of the two states to restore lasting peace and unity in the states.
He also urged the communities to sheath their swords while the government through the NBC and other relevant authorities stepped up efforts to restore normalcy in the interest of peace, security and development of their communities.
Mustapha also urged the roundtable to X-ray all the Cross River and Ebonyi conflict issues and other boundary disputes confronting the country, so as to provide a strategic template for the resolution of all interstate boundary related issues.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Dr Bakut Bakut, IPCR Director-General, called on the affected communities to, sheath their swords, explaining that the roundtable was informed by the recurring conflict in the two states.