A joint committee to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the intractable boundary crisis between Ikot offiong community of Odukpani local government area in Cross River State, and Oku Iboku in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State has been inaugurated by both the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Cross State Assembly.
The committee was inaugurated, Thursday during a joint sitting of two state Assemblies at the Chambers of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo while lawmakers from both Assemblies held a special session in commemoration of the silver Jubilee anniversary of Akwa Ibom Assembly.
The committee is jointly Chaired by the Deputy Leader of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, and member representing Ibiono Ibom, Rt. Hon. Ime Okon and the member representing Odukpani State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Bassey Akiba.
Other members of the committee include, the Chief Whip of Cross River State House of Assembly, and members representing Calabar South 1, Rt. Hon. Ephraim Okon and the member representing ITU, State constituency in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Idongesit Ituen.
The Clerk of the committee is Unyime Benson.
The inauguration of the joint committee which was jointly performed by the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Barr. Onofiok Luke and his Cross River State counterpart, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo is sequel to a matter of urgent public importance raised during plenary by the member representing Odukpani State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Bassey Akiba.
Hon. Akiba had drawn the attention of the House to the lingering boundary clash that has set inhabitants of the two affected communities on war path. He pleaded the assembly to wade into the matte with a view of restoring lasting peace to the warring communities.
Speaking in support of the motion, the member representing Ibiono Ibom and Deputy leader, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ime Okon, and the Chairman, House Committee on Boundary Matters, Hon. Mark Esset argued that there was no need for the two state to continue witnessing such level of skirmishes which has led to loss of lives and property over the years.
The joint Assembly had passed a motion motion, urging inhabitants of both communities to maintain peace in the area.
The lawmakers also mandated security agencies to provide security, and also called on the State emergency management agencies of both states to provide relief materials to persons affected by the crisis.
The committee was mandated to submit report to the House in the next sitting.