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10 May 2018

10 feared dead as Cross River, Akwa Ibom communities clash

At least 10 persons have been reportedly killed in renewed communal clash between the people of Ikot Offiong in Odukpani local government area of Cross River State and Oku Iboku in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State.

The renewed clash started on Sunday over a piece of land suspected to have oil deposit.

Addressing newsmen on Wednesday, Chief Stephen Nya, an elder statesman in Ikot Offiong said, “The crisis is driven by the quest of Oku Iboku people to own Okposong Rivers because they want the forest reserve located on that stretch, along with the oil deposits.

“But Oku Iboku people are demanding that Ikot Offiong people should pay them royalty before fishing in the river that serves as a boundary between the two sister states”.

Oku Iboku people, Nya claimed first launched attack on them three weeks ago and they were repelled, adding that they returned on Sunday.

But the clan head of Oku Iboku in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State, Ubong Essien Okokon lamented that his people had suffered great devastation.

“The Ikot Offiong people have resumed another attack where so many people, especially farmers and fishermen who went in search of their means of livelihood were just murdered for nothing while some sustained gun and machete cut and escaped to the village,” he alleged.

The attack, it was gathered took place within the western flank of Cross River bank of the river, the waterway that serves as boundary between the two sister states.

The clash has threatened the corporate existence of other neighbouring communities, including Ubambat Okoyong, Ikoneto, Usung Esuk, Akpatre Efa, Ikot Akpan, Okurikang, Akpap Okoyong in Odukpani.

When contacted, Cross River State Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Irene Ugbo said on Wednesday that the command had dispatched team of security men to the area and that peace was on the way of being restored.

“The security men have been put in place to carry out thorough investigation and safety of the people in the affected areas”, she said.



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