by crossriverwatch admin
Okpoma youths in Yala Local Government Area in the northern part of Cross River State in large numbers on Wednesday invaded the neighboring Igbekorikor community to prosecute a communal conflict.
The youths according to eye witness reports from the area besieged the Igbekorikor community following renewed misunderstanding over a longstanding dispute over a piece of farm land between their community and the Igbekorikor people which several efforts to resolve have failed.
Mr Matthias Odey, an eye witness said the youths with bands tied round their head chanted war songs and descended on the neighboring community and set alight the houses located at their common border daring the Igbekorikor youths to come out for battle. “Those of us who went to work at the council secretariat at Okpoma were held up for several hours as no one dared to go near for obvious reasons” Matthias said.
According to him the aggrieved youths barricaded the only major road passing through the two communities for several hours and stopped people from passing. “They said Igbekorikor people beat up John Oloko who for years has been farming on that land which they claim belong to Okpoma and Igbekorikor is trying to annex”.
Several efforts to contact the Yala Local Government Chairman, Mr. Gabriel Ugor failed as his GSM number was unreachable while his press secretary, Obe Obe did not pick his calls.
When CrossRiverWatch contacted the DPO Yala, he said he was not competent to speak on the issue but the Cross River State Police spokesman, Mr. Hogan Bassey said policemen have been mobilized to the place and “calm has returned to the place as I talk to you now”.
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