by crossriverwatch admin
Three people have been reported dead following an invasion of Inyima community in Yakurr Local Government Area by its neighbors Adun village in Cross River State.
The invasion which was carried out by armed men suspected to have come from Adun village in Obubra LGA destroyed over 300 houses displacing about 5,000 persons including the most vulnerable, women and children.
The attack was alleged to have been master minded by aggrieved youths from the neighboring village who claimed that a man from the assailed community was suspected to have stolen cassava tubers from a farm belonging to an Adun man.
Though he was subsequently arrested by the police but the youths were not satisfied and felt that the Inyima people had undermined their “Superiority” to dare them.
Our correspondent who visited Inyima community in Yakurr LGA in the Central Senatorial District about 200km from Calabar reports that the community lay in ruin as almost every residential building was either burnt or demolished.
The newly constructed and fully equipped primary health center in the community was destroyed including facilities such as beds, drugs, solar panel and other essential facilities.
House hold property were also burnt and domestic animals such as goats, fowls, dogs were killed and their carcasses littered the village.
The general atmosphere in the village was highly gloomy and deserted as only very few courageous men were left in the village while women and children trickled in to salvage whatever property was left to take to their camps.
Displaced persons numbering over 5,000 are now taking refuge in 5 camps that have been set up by the state, mostly in public buildings such as schools and churches in Assiga Old and New Towns, Igbo-Imabana, Nko and Assiga Beach.
The State Deputy Governor, Efiok Cobham who visited the village to see things for himself described the level of devastation as barbaric and repulsive to modern civilization.
Barr. Cohbam said that it was pathetic that the State Government’s lofty programs of providing social amenities such as roads, hospitals and schools, were being derailed by such dastardly behavior.
He promised that the matter would be thoroughly investigated and the culprits brought to book and urged the victims to volunteer information to enable authorities apprehend the assailants.
The Deputy Governor who was accompanied by service commanders warned against any form of reprisals which could be counter-productive pointing out that such venture might truncate the determination of government to quickly get to the root of the matter.
The Director-General Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. Vincent Aquah also visited the various Internally Displaced People’s camps to reassure displaced persons of government concern for them and their predicament and promised to send relief soon.
While commending the host communities for accepting them, he advised the displaced to remain law abiding and to stay peacefully with their hosts pending the resolution of the crisis.
Speaking in an interview with our reporter, the councilor representing Inyima ward and leader of the Yakurr legislator, Hon Okori Samuel said, the victims of the crisis scattered over peaceful neighboring villages were in dare need of food and accommodation as well as clothing.
Hon. Samuel appealed to the state government and other philanthropic bodies to assist in order to avert further health crisis as the people were living below human standard.
A victim, Mr David Agbo (51) said that the entire village was awaken on Sunday morning attacks by the people of Adun who invaded the village in their multitudes armed with sophisticated weapons and shooting sporadically burning and demolishing houses with explosives.
He said that the attacks which came as a surprise caused so much panic that the inhabitants of the village had to flee in different directions mostly through bush paths to neighboring communities.
Mr. Agbo narrated that few days before the attack, an Inyima man believed to be insane was alleged to have been spotted harvesting cassava belonging to an Adun person and was promptly arrested and detained by the police.
He said that on Friday which was their market day women who went to their farm to harvest cassava for sale in the local market came running back to complain that the Adun people armed with dangerous weapons drove them from their farms and that they were matching towards the village and that soon after sporadic shooting was head from every corner of the village causing stampede.
Another victim, Mrs. Caroline Solomon (38) who sat mournfully by her demolished building also recounted her experience to our reporter. She said that she was in the company of other women in the farm when suddenly the assailants came out from the bush and drove them away.
“I saw one of our boys who was with us in the bush caught up and surrounded by the assailants harking him with machetes, I belief he must have been killed” she narrated in tears.
It will be recalled that the Governor of the State, Senator Lieyl Imoke recently suspended ten traditional rulers over their inability to stop the recurring crises in these same communities.
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