Acting Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Efiok Cobham
Jude Okwe â€¨in Calabarâ€¨
Fear of reprisal action appears to be in the air as the people of Adadama in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State yesterday accused Ebonyi State Government of allegedly masterminding the January 14 attack on Amagu community in Ikwo Local Government Area of the state.
But last weekend, the Acting Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Efiok Cobham, visited Adadama for an on the spot assessment of the destruction wrought by the Ebonyi warriors and warned against reprisal attacks as such an action will do no good to the peace initiative he was spearheading.
The unprovoked attack, however, left 11 people dead, houses and a police station destroyed with about 2,000 natives of Adadama now displaced and taking refuge in nearby communities.
Clan Head of Ekpon, Chief Vincent Ekpah allegedly accused the Ebonyi State Government of being the mastermind of the invasion of his villages and killing of his subjects by warriors from Ikwo.
In an interview on the plight of his people, many of whom are now refugees, Ekpah said the unprovoked attacks by the Ebonyi people had claimed the lives of 11 of his subjects.
He said the fragile relationship between his people and their Ebonyi neighbours worsened on January 14, 2013 when armed militants from Amagu community in Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi State waged a full scale war against his community.
According to him, the militants numbering over 50 were fully armed with sophisticated modern rifles including AK47, Kashinikov, GPMGs and hand grenades.
“Once they crossed the boundary line into Adadama they immediately found and kidnapped over 7 farmers consisting of mainly women and children and took them to unknown destination in Amagu. Thereafter they immediately proceeded to the Police station newly constructed by the Cross River State Government close to the boundary line and razed it down.
“They then moved towards the first Adadama community of Ngoli shooting sporadically. There were however, confronted by the Adadama vigilante group made up of local hunters who showed bravery by exchanging gun fire with their local guns for over three hours. They were able to force the militants to beat a retreat from that point back to Amagu village. During the confrontation one Isang Enya aged 38years was shot dead by the militants,” Ekpah said.
Ten other persons, including a lady who was a PhD candidate have since been confirmed to have been killed by the invaders from Ebonyi State.
Corroborating Chief Ekpah’s claim, Ansen B. Edo, said information at the disposal of his people indicates that a certain member of the youth wing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State has been the one allegedly used by the Ebonyi State Government to coordinate the attacks on their communities.
Edo, who is the President, Adadama Development Association (ADA), said the man who coordinated the attacks on his community is also a leading member of the Ebonyi Youth Assembly.
He also fingered another leading member of the Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State of arming the militants with the weapons they used during the raid on their villages.
He said before the hostilities broke out, the Adadama Community was already holding peaceful discussions with the Okpitomo and Amagu communities of Ebonyi.