Gov Alia tells warring Bonta, Okpute communities to embrace peace

Governor Hyacinth Alia has charged the Bonta and Okpute communities in Konshisha and Oju LGAs to give peace a chance for meaningful development.

Mr Alia made the appeal when he held peace meetings with the communities as part of the efforts to de-escalate the renewed crisis between them.

The governor, speaking through his commissioners for humanitarian and disaster management and agriculture, Aondowase Kunde, and that of agriculture, Moses Ogbaji, said peace remains the only sure way for development.

A delegation of two commissioners attended the meeting, two state lawmakers and the security adviser.

On Saturday, youths from both communities took to the streets to protest recent security breaches in the area.

Addressing the Bonta people, Mr Kunde urged them to sheathe their swords and give peace a chance for development to come to their area.

According to him, their socio-economic life and development will be affected in their community without peace.

He urged them to remain calm and peaceful no matter the level of provocation but to report to relevant authorities.

“We are here for peace. This is a time we should be rejoicing. We have suffered so much in Benue in the past, and God has sent his son, Alia, to put smiles on our faces,” said Mr Kunde. “So, we should not be engaging in another violence. “As the commissioner of humanitarian and disaster management, it is my intention to bring relief to the people and not to come and settle the crisis.”

At Okpute, Mr Ogbaji advised the youths against using arms, stressing that “dialogue and peace are the way to go.”

Mr Ogbaji called on the youths to engage in meaningful ventures and continue to use the available subsidised fertilisers and other farm inputs given to them by the government.

The lawmaker representing the Oju I state constituency, Blessed Onah, told the people that “war has no customer just as there is no alternative to peace.

The special adviser on security matters, Joseph Har, said the Benue government could deal with any troublemaker but decided on dialogue. He again appealed to the people to support the government and give peace a chance for the progress and development of their areas and state in general.

Responding on behalf of the Bonta people, Ahula Akpile thanked the delegation for their prompt response to the crisis and pledged their support and loyalty to the Benue government.


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