By Ushang Ewa
The Obot Itu community in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom state have begun moves to reconcile with the neighboring Obodio community in Odukpani local government area of Cross River State ahead of the final demarcation of the boundary between both communities and the federal government.
The Clan Head of Obot Itu, Chief Nyong Inyang made the appeal yesterday, while sensitizing the community where he that what his community wants was to continue to co-exist peacefully with the people of Obodio as they use to for many decades before the boundary tussle started and regretted that since 1914 when the crisis started, his community Obot Itu had suffered untold hardship as they were deprived of their means of livelihood, expressing the belief that the demarcation of the boundary will address the situation reports VANGUARD.
This comes one week after herdsmen attacked Mbiabong Ito community of Ito south clan in Odukpani local government area of southern Cross River State and sacked about 200 families after forcibly resisting the attempts by the villagers to deny them access to land for their large herds of cattle to graze.
An indigene, Effiong Asuquo, told VANGUARD that as gunshots rent the air, late Tuesday evening, the villagers had to run into the bush when it became apparent that the herdsmen had more sophisticated weapons.
“We had to hide inside the bush because the kind of guns the herdsmen were carrying were too sophisticated. To stay alive we had to scamper for safety and the best place was the bush,” he said.
A police source, who confirmed the incident, said it was quite unfortunate because a lot of people were injured in the process of running to safety.
His words: “You have to understand that it will take a while before I can authoritatively give you accurate information on the number of casualties and current situation in the area. Getting to the area is a challenge as you will have to either travel to Akwa Ibom first before linking up the place through the river in Itu.”
When contacted, police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Irene Ugbo confirmed the incident and said they were on top of the situation.
“We are aware of the matter and we are on top of the situation because there is no cause for alarm. No casualties have been recorded to the best of my knowledge and our men are already on ground as we speak,” she said.
The state is yet to react to this with the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade contemplating a controlled grazing law to checkmate the trend after a residents hand was chopped off in Ugaga community of Yala local government area of northern Cross River State.
Few days later, a resident stabbed a herdsman to death in Obanliku after a fight ensued between the duo.