One Killed, Houses Burnt in Cross River Communal Clash


One person was feared killed, and two others seriously wounded following outbreak of violent clashes between New Netim Town and Odukpani Qua Town in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Aside from the dead and injured, over 20 houses and several cars were razed in New Netim when armed youths from Odukpani Qua invaded their neighbours on yesterday morning. It was gathered that the house of the father of the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Christian Ita, Ntufam Raphael Okpa Ita, New Netim Village Head, was also torched and he had to flee for his life. It was gathered that the two communities had disputes in the past over land. “On Monday at about 1a.m., the people of Odukpani Qua Town invaded New Netim. They hired cultists and invaded the village yesterday. They left about 20 houses razed. They burnt several cars also. One boy has been killed. Two others were shot but are alive. The origin of the problem is land. There is a dispute over ownership of land and the thing went to court and New Netim won in court. So the Odukpani Qua people are not happy. This is the second time in about ten months. They did something like this in December.

“On August 24, this year, New Netim Council wrote to security chiefs alerting them to credible information they had that there was plan to attack them. The security chiefs called the two communities together and of course the Odukpani Qua people denied that there was such a plan. But look at what has happened now,” an Indigene of New Netim said.

Commenting on the development, the state Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji, said: “It started at about 1a.m. to 1.30a.m. and immediately we got the call, we deployed security men there, but before the men got there, the havoc had already been committed.

The army and Operation Scolombo, responded immediately, led by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, operations, himself.

“For now the area is calm as security agents have been deployed to the area. We are asking everybody to go about their normal duties, as the police and army have taken over the place in terms of security.

“Make no mistake that all the people involved in what happened yesterday would be arrested because it was premeditated thing. People hide under land issues to commit crimes and perpetuate all kinds of criminality. We would get to the root of it and all the arrowheads of this mayhem would be brought to justice.”