IN view of the persistent communal clashes between Mbakyaa and Dzev kindreds of Shangev-ya in Kwande Local Council of Benue State, the Ter Kwande, Chief Hillary Ikyima, has declared the disputed piece of land a buffer zone and called on the state government to urgently take over the disputed area.
Ikyima, who made the casual declaration yesterday when he led Kwande stakeholders, including traditional rulers of Shangev-ya extraction to Imande, a village adjacent to the disputed land, stressed the need for peace to prevail between the two communities and urged them to lay down their arms.
The royal father also directed all parties currently involved in the occupation of the forestry reserve which has over the years been the cause of dispute between the warring communities to vacate henceforth, saying that any person or party found contravening the order would be handed over to the law enforcement agents.
The secretary of the local council and representative of the Chairman, Rev. Akpaegh who corroborated the decision of Ikyima, promised that the council would work closely with the traditional institution to ensure lasting peace in the area and warned those perpetrating havoc to desist.
Also, counsel to the Dzev community, Mr. Kaase Sheidu, commended the traditional ruler for using his wisdom to quell the crisis for peace and togetherness.
He, however, said that the decision taken was casually invalidating the court judgment which is supposed to be respected by all and sundry; stating that as time goes on, certain things must be sorted out.
Other prominent sons of the area, including Rev. Pastor Moses Akem, also lauded the position taken by the royal father and said he would relay the decision to the state government for urgent action and warned those bent on causing confusion in the area to desist.