BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar
A renewed clash between Nko community of Yakurr Local Government area and Enyadama of Obubra Local Government, of Cross River State has left many property destroyed claiming five lives.
Eyewitness account reported that the conflict was triggered by claims and counter claims over farmland ownership.
Reports also have it that the conflict has so left five persons dead, including a “captain in the Nigerian military” who was allegedly killed by one of the community warlords in Nko Community.
Police Public Relations officer in Cross River State, SP Irene Ugbo however denied claims of any dead insisting that normalcy has returned, but community sources said one of the military officers who came on the peace keeping was killed by a community warlord.
Our sources maintained that a retaliation from the military has caused further destruction and far worse level in Nko community in particular. Residents have all fleed from the community and are hiding inside the forest.
Worried by the situation in the area, the member representing Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Dr Alex Egbona, has taken steps to address the situation.
The two communities have been at each other’s throat for a while now, forcing some of the natives to flee their homes. But Egbona said on Monday that the rift was not in the interest of the peace and development of the two local governments.
The Lawmaker said it was unfortunate that two brothers were at war with each other over what he called ephemeral things and called on the warring parties to retrace their steps and allow peace to reign.
“I have been disturbed by the news of the lingering rift between Nko and Enyadama of Yakurr Local Government and Obubra Local Government of Cross River State, respectively. It makes me sad and uncomfortable, that this unfortunate incident has been allowed to fester for this long.”
“I have been told of the regrettable and avoidable effects of the communal conflict. We are one family and should not allow ourselves to be lured into fighting ourselves, no matter what is at stake. I do not believe that there is anything in this life that equals the life of an individual.”
“It is barbaric and satanic to take the life of anybody, no matter the level of provocation. I appeal to all the parties involved to sheathe their swords and allow peace to return in the communities. I have always said that there cannot be development in any place where there is no peace.”
Egbona said he was already in touch with security agents in the state and pleaded with the communities to allow the security agents to do their work. He also indicate the readiness to visit the affected communities, as part of efforts to bring a lasting peace to the communities.
Egbona said “I have been talking with our security agents. I am very sure that they will do their best and restore peace. I will be visiting the communities to ascertain the extent of the crisis. This will guide me in further legislative interventions that I need to make. I stand for peace and there must be peace in all our communities.”
“I condemn every act of hooliganism and brigandage. Let’s give peace a chance and stop every form of attacks in parts of our federal constituency and every part of our state.”
Egbona urged traditional rulers and the state government to take measures to end the communal conflict in all parts of the state.
He also urged the state government to direct the state emergency management agency to get involved in the management of the crisis by sending relief to the victims to alleviate their suffering.