About eight persons are feared to have been killed in a fresh land dispute between communities in Cross River and Ebonyi States.
The dispute that led to the death of no fewer than eight persons occurred between Ochienyim community in Amagu, Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and Adadama community in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Residents and security sources said three of those allegedly killed over the dispute were from Amagu village, while the five others are from Adadama community.
Several other persons in the area were also said to have sustained varying degrees of life-threatening injuries as a result of the attacks.
A community leader from Amagu Ikwo, on conditions of anonymity, disclosed that some women from Ochienyim went to harvest cassava in their farms when unknown persons suspected to be from Adadama attacked them.
According to the report, in the ensuing scuffle, the alleged attackers tried to abduct some of the women but were resisted by the youth who accompanied them.
The eyewitness said,
“A few hours after the initial invasion, over 30 Adadama youth mobilised and invaded the community with dangerous weapons, shooting sporadically at the people.”
“By the time they left the community having sacked everybody, we came back to count our losses and at the last count, three members of our community were already lying dead while several others sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries.
“Our women had gone to the farm to harvest Cassava to enable them feed their families but most regrettably, even before they were done, some youth from Adadama community, who are in the habit of abducting and killing our people besieged them with the intention of carrying out their nefarious activities but they were resisted by the youth, who went with the women.
“On getting back to the village, the women and youths were still narrating their ordeal when we heard gunshots and everyone started running to safety.
“It was in the process of trying to escape that three of our promising citizens were shot dead and several others injured right in our village by the blood thirsty Adadama youth. We are peace loving people.”
Meanwhile, across the border, a source from Abi, who also pleaded anonymity, blamed their Ebonyi neighbours for killing five members of Adadama community on June 21st.
Govt Urged To Intervene In Land Dispute Between Cross River And Ebonyi
According to him, trouble started when some community women went to harvest cassava on a land bordering Amagu village.
“The women were chased from their farms by Amagu youth. When some of our women fled home to report what happened, our youth went on rescue mission a fight broke out leading to the death of four of our youth.
“Four other persons were rushed to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, with bullet wounds and one, Ikor Anali, later died at the hospital.”
Director-General of the Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu, has visited some of the victims of the crisis at the UCTH in Calabar.
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Ebonyi Central zone, Obinna Ogba has called for security to be beefed up in the area to avoid the constant attacks and killings of innocent people.
Senator Ogba appealed to the National Boundary Commission to urgently visit the area and advise the government on possible ways to halt the hostilities.
The lawmaker, however, commended security agencies for their quick intervention to quell the crisis and urged the warring communities to remain calm while government explored permanent ways of resolving the problem.