BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar
Brothers Across Nigeria (BAN), a socio-philanthropic organization has condemned the on-going onslaught on the people of Nko, in Yakurr local government area of Cross River state by personnel of the Nigerian Army.
The organization made known its position on June 30th when it visited the Obol Lopon of Ugep and Paramount Ruler of Yakurr Local Government Area, HRH Obol Ofem Ubana, as they donated an undisclosed sum of money for Nko indigenes who were displaced from their homes and currently taking refuge in Ugep, the local government headquarters.
It could be recalled that earlier this week, there were reports of mass shooting and wanton destruction of lives and property in Nko community by armed military personnel deployed to the village to return peace between Nko and her neighboring Onyeadama community, both of which were recently engaged in a communal conflict over a disputed piece of land.
The invasion by men of the Nigerian Army has so far rendered thousand of Nko people homeless as many houses have been burnt, several means of livelihood destroyed thereby forcing the indigenes to scamper for their lives.
Sources close to Patriotnews Online confirmed that most of these indigenes were currently camping as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Ugep, Ekori and Idomi communities of Yakurr local government area.
Censuring the outburst by the Nigerian Army which claimed “it was first been assaulted by a few Nko youths, BAN chapter chairman, Mr. Earnest Ettah, registered that the act perpetrated by the military personnel defied all reasonable excuses as “it peels-off the main purpose for which they were deployed to the community”.
Ettah who heads Biase/Yakurr/Abi/Obubra chapter of BAN also called on government to settle the people of Nko for what he described as “over paid debt”.
“We want to join all other good conscience citizens to decry the onslaught of military personnel on the people of Nko. Whatever it was they did to warrant this destruction, we, as a body are saying the debt was over paid. It were wise if the alleged culprits were fished out and made to face the wrath of the law instead of destroying an entire community”.
“We are making this cash donation as our widow’s mite to all the displaced victims currently camping in Ugep and Ekori, even as we pray that normalcy be restored quickly to see them return home and be properly settled by the government for this collateral damage,” Ettah told Obol Lopon of Ugep.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the victims, Obol Lopon of Ugep and Paramount Ruler of Yakurr local government area, HRH Obol Ofem Ubana, praised BAN for its philanthropic gesture, noting that the organization has remained one of the consistent benefactors of his people, even as he blessed them and prayed for God’s replenishing grace upon their finances.