The people of Bendeghe-Ekeim, an ancient community in Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State have resolved to live in peace and harmony.
The community, rich in cocoa had been riddled with bad blood, sharp differences and violence over socioeconomic and economic disagreements.
The community came together at the New Year to take the decision at an event attended by stakeholders, clergymen, community leaders and youths.
Many bared their minds over their plights while intercessory prayers were said after which a community feast and gift exchanges were held.
President of the Community Youth Council, Mr. Mgbe Asu Takon commended the facilitator, Dr. Oscar Ofuka who is a special adviser to the state governor on cocoa development and a son of the community for the initiative.
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He urged perpetrators of ill will in the community to desist in the best interest of the area.
The oldest woman in the community, Madam Amba Bichene Okorn expressed happiness at the peace brokered in the community, describing it as a “great reunion” of the Bendeghe-Ekeim community.
She poured prayers of God’s blessings over the land.
A representative of the Chiefs of the community, Ntufam Abraham Asu said Dr. Ofuka also called on aggrieved persons to sheath their swords and push for greater peace and unity which will attract economic progress.
Ntufam Asu said, “I urge perpetrators of crisis in the land to have a rethink in the interest of the progress of Bendeghe-Ekeim Community.”
Over two hundred of the vulnerable persons mostly widows, youths and the traditional chieftains benefitted from various forms of gifts including wrappers, cash, food items among others during the event which was held at the Presbyterian Church Primary School, Bendeghe-Ekeim.
The facilitator, Dr. Ofuka remarked that he was concerned by the incessant cult clashes, skirmishes amongst the people and division as well as the plight of the people in the community particularly the widows who require much caregiving and assistance.
Ofuka urged those aggrieved communities to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign in the overall interest of the people.
Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Jehost Ebuta Ojong gave a sermon with the theme: Let love rule our community.
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He said love, peace and unity were what the people of Bendeghe-Ekeim need the most to reenact their progress as a people, adding that the ugly trend of witch-hunt, violence and bloodletting should be completely discarded.