By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Two communities; Etab Ayip in Kasuk Qua Clan II and Ikot Ansa (Nkonib) in Calabar Municipal local government area of southern Cross River are currently at unrest following the deployment of a bulldozer by the Nkonib community to destroy a raffia plantation and other economic trees worth over NGN100 million due to a tussle over the ownership of a swamp located along Parliamentary Extension.
The Clan Head of Kasuk Qua Clan II, Ededem Okon Ayito told Vanguard that the action taken by the Ikot Ansa clan surprised him as the land has in 4 court judgments; 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1983 had being declared Etab Ayip land following issues of ownership.
“I am surprised that somebody went to court and could not wait for a matter to be decided, they could not wait for judgment to be given, they went ahead to start destroying my economic trees. Those economic trees (raffia palm plantation) were planted from my sweat, my hard earned money as a young farmer.
“They are claiming that the Nigerian Army gave them the land as a trade off, I have never heard that army allots lands to individuals. In the process, they have destroyed economic trees worth more than N200 million, that plantation has been standing since 2001, they destroyed more than 50,000 raffia palm trees with bulldozer.
“The youths of the community are saying that they will not allow the matter to just die like that, but as a law abiding citizen, I will not allow any of my subjects to take the law into their hands no matter what. I am, however, appealing to Governor Ben Ayade, Commissioner of Police and Army to wade into the matter before it gets out of hand to avert any bloodshed in my community,” Ayito said.
The Paramount Ruler of Calabar Municipal, Ndidem Patrick Inok Oqua whose community, Ikot Ansa allegedly carried out the destruction of the plantation declined comment when contacted.
The Nigerian Army denied complicity in the matter. The Commander of the 13th Brigade, Nigerian Army, Calabar, Brigadier General Bulama Abdumaleek Biu when contacted, said: “We are an organized institution, we do not meddle into lands matters. If any community has a claim, let them go to court and if the court invites us, we will say what we know.”