By Jonathan Ugbal
A clash between two factions of the People’s Democratic Party PDP, in Bendeghe community of Etung local government area of central Cross River State has led to the destruction of some properties.
The fight which occurred on Wednesday, led to the destruction of properties with this Correspondent advised not to go near the village as a group of irate youths had taken control of the area and declared a territory for themselves.
A member of the group alleged to have caused the clash, who gave his nickname as “Tom” told CrossRiverWatch that the fight was as a result of a split between members of the party struggling to control the structures and was ignited following the departure of Senator John Owan-Enoh to the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the party faithfuls are now divided between the Senator, Water Resources Commissioner, Gabriel Odu-Oji and Youth and Sports Development Commissioner, Asu Okang.
Asu and Odu-Oji, were all allies to Senator Owan-Enoh with Asu now wholly in support of Cross River Governor, Benedict Ayade while Odu-Oji is said to still be in touch with Owan-Enoh said Tom after being feted with 3 bottles of a popular beer with meat for his friends who were with him.
But, Odu-Oji when contacted on phone denied all the allegations.
He said: “I just came back from Asu Okang’s office this morning to discuss some relevant issues. He is a commissioner in this government and I am a commissioner in the government too. We have no problems.
“Those people are only trying to misinform you. I am sure the people that told you this are members of a group of boys who have formed a militia in a community in Bendeghe and are now like Boko Haram in that place.
“If they said that Asu and I are giving them problems, then yes because the law enforcement agencies are handling the matter but to say I am sponsoring or supporting them, then it is not true, they are trying to misinform you.
“I was the first chairman in that local government and till date my integrity is intact but some people feel that they are strong politically and instead of going to the grassroots during elections to prove this, they now start doing other things. But, I am not sponsoring that militia. They are just some people in Bendeghe who choosed to take laws into their hands and the law enforcement agencies are after them.”
3 calls to Asu’s lines at 11:00 AM rang but were not taken.
Meanwhile, community chiefs and clan heads in Boki where on Monday beaten by irate youths over unequal sharing of cash gifts by Senator Owan-Enoh.
Owan is said to have held a meeting with them and gave each community NGN100,000 cash gifts and when he left, problem arose when it came to the sharing of the monies as the chiefs were alleged to have kept a chunk of it for themselves which angered irate youths who decided to forcefully retrieve the cash from them and a melee ensued.
A youth in western Boki, Otu (other names withheld)told CrossRiverWatch in Orimekpang that: “All these is part of the PDP syndrome and that is not how you solve a problem because you end up creating enmity between the people over the sharing of peanuts.”
Efforts to reach Senator Owan-Enoh proved futile as the only time his line went through, he did not take the call.