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Police refute alleged death of 15, as Cross River communities clash

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Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
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calendar-icon Posted on: 2020-05-20 22:27:33
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Renewed communal clashes in Afono and Ibini communities in Biase local government area of the Cross River State has reportedly claimed 15 lives

Press learned that the youths from Afono blocked the only road leading to the community, refusing the Ibini people from passing through.

A resident of Ibini, Martins Ogba said that the incident started on Monday when youths from Afono blocked the road and three youths from Ibini went and dismantled the blockade.

“As they were returning back to Ibini, they did not know that Afono youths had laid ambush and they were shot. Two of the Ibini boys died while one escaped to tell the story.

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“On Tuesday, Ibini youths entered Afono and a fight ensued. Three more people from Ibini died while about ten people from Afono were killed, bringing the total number of the dead to fifteen” Ogba stated.

Ogba further added: “As I am talking to you now, the Ibini youths have razed Afono and there is no single soul there now. Even youths from Orugbam who went to support them have fled.”

An indigene of Afono who spoke to newsmen in confidence said the problem between his community and Abini is a fallout of the crisis between Orugbam and Abanwan.

“The problem between us (Afono) and Ibini is that since Orugbam were displaced from their ancestral home, Ibini people have been looking for trouble. Our youths only went to block the road to avoid their problem.

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“But because they are in support of Orugbam, they felt threatened and attacked us. Now, they have succeeded in killing not less than ten people in our village and burnt down our village,” he fumed.

The Erei land which all the four warring communities belong to, have been divided since the war between Orugbam and Abanwan started. The Orugbam has been seen as the aggressor by most communities in Erei, a situation that leaves just two communities in their support while the rest of the Erei communities support Abanwan.

Consequently, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Cross River, Irene Ugbo while reacting to inquiries from newsmen said some farmlands and houses were destroyed but no lives were lost.

“The thing was that some farms and some houses have been destroyed but no life was lost. It is not true that anybody died. When we heard about the crisis, the Commissioner of Police, Uche Anozia quickly sent police officers and MOPOL (Mobile Policemen) men to the area” adding that “Very soon, the Commissioner of Police and State Security Adviser will visit the place to meet with traditional rulers.”

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