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20 feared killed in renewed war between Akwa Ibom and Cross River

By News Express on 12/02/2017

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More than twenty persons were feared killed as the people of Oku Iboku in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and Ikot Offiong in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State again clashed.

The people of Ikot Offiong are Efiks dislodged from their settlement at Ayadehe community, Oku Iboku, years back.

It was gathered that the clash between the two communities which started Friday night was like war as sophisticated weapons were used by both sides and unconfirmed number of people killed.

The highest number of casualties were said to have come from the people of Ikot Offiong as they were ambushed in the attack and chased to the neighbouring community in Odukpani.

Travelers along the Calabar-Itu highway were held up for hours yesterday until soldiers chased the hoodlums away to clear the road for smooth movement of motorists and commuters.

Eyewitnesses bemoaned the action of the people of Ikot Offiong after both communities had entered into peaceful settlement since 2014.

A source that claimed anonymity said the attack about three times since December 2016 mush have been sponsored, as both communities had no reason to engage each other in war-like invasion since they inter-married.

“Yesterday’s (Saturday) attack was face to face. It was like war. When blood enters your eyes you don’t know who is involved”, the source said.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Cordelia Nwawe, confirmed the crisis but said she was not in position to talk on the casualty rate as the duty of security operative drafted to the area was to maintain peace at the boundary between Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.

However, the PPRO of Cross River State, Irene Ugbo said, “yes, we are aware. There is no casualty recorded and our men are there; they have been there since and we deployed other men this morning (yesterday) by the time we heard the news last night. So as at now the area is calm.

“We are still investigating the matter to know what caused the recent fight and no arrest has been made yet. We are talking peace and trying to bring peace between the communities and we cannot use violence. We are trying to talk to them peacefully so that they can reconcile and come together, we cannot use force on them else it will aggravate the fight.

“We are trying to know what their problems are, what they are fighting for and what is provoking each community. Before this present fight last we have stationed our men there,” the PPRO said.

•Sourced from THISDAY.

Source News Express

Posted 12/02/2017 05:13:11 AM

 

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