Bassey Inyang in Calabar
No fewer than seven persons have been feared killed following fresh outbreak of violent hostilities between Inyima community in Yakurr Local Government Area and Onyadama community in Obubra Local Government Area in Cross River State.
Apart from the dead, scores of persons from both communities, located in the central part of the state, are nursing various degrees of injuries sustained from gunshots and machetes cuts adopted freely by combatants from both communities.
It was gathered that the on-going war between both communities, located about 200 kilometres from Calabar, the state capital, started on Tuesday.
The latest fighting came on the heels of what had been described as a truce reached recently between both communities after the state government stepped in to resolve the conflicts between them.
Feelers from motorists and road users said the combatants, mostly youths from both
communities were shooting sporadically across the section of Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja Federal Highway, thereby endangering the lives of those travelling to other destinations.
It was further gathered that parts of the highway that fall into sections of both communities were blocked by the combatants who intercepts vehicles, interrogate the occupants to identify those perceived to be from the enemy camp, and in the process kill those they suspect with machete blows or gunshots.
A traveller who said he did not want his name in print, lamented how he narrowly escaped death by the whisker while travelling through the road.
“I advise people travelling from Calabar to Ikom or Ikom to Calabar. As at yesterday, the Inyima/ Nko people were at Onyadama Bridge shooting sporadically. Many have died, many went back to their various destinations. People now use Abakaliki road. The government should speedily intervene. Untimely death is not our portion in Jesus name,”he stated.
Information has it that both communities have been engaging each other in internecine warfare over a protracted land dispute involving them since 2008.
The last war between both communities took place in March this year, when Inyima community was completely destroyed.
The Public Relations Officer for the Cross River State Police Command, Ms Irene Ugbo, who spoke on the fresh outbreak of war between both communities said the state police commissioner, Mr. Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, ordered that policemen be deployed to restore peace in the affected communities.
She said normally has been restored to the affected areas as a detachment of anti- riot policemen deployed there have cleared the road blocks mounted by the warring youths of both communities.