Abi Youths Seek Lasting Solution As Renewed Adadama/Ikwo Clashes Claim 2 Lives

In Breaking News, National News, Politics, Reports

By CrossRiverWatch admin

Previous scenes from the Adadama/Ikwo boundary clashes (file picture by CrossRiverWatch)
Previous scenes from the Adadama/Ikwo boundary clashes (file picture by CrossRiverWatch)

Youths in Abi local government area have called for a lasting solution to the land crisis facing some communities in the council area which has led to the loss of lives and property over the years.

The youths under the aegis of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Abi chapter made this known when they paid a courtesy visit to the Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Youths, Edward Esin in his office in Calabar.

Led by the Chairman, Gifted Nelson, the youths said “we need a lasting solution to the land crisis caused by the lingering fight between communities in our local government and others. We don’t want a temporary solution as has been the case.”

The renewed boundary crises last Wednesday claimed the lives of two persons who were shot dead while 10 houses were burnt and properties worth millions of naira destroyed in hostilities in the lingering dispute.

According to reports by Premium Times, more than 150 persons have been displaced following the attack on the people of Ochienyim community in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi, allegedly by the neighboring Adadama community in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State.

A youth leader in the community and relation to one of the deceased, Samuel Nomeh, gave the names of those shot dead by the attackers as Elijah Nomeh and Agashi Onuenyim.

Mr. Nomeh said that at about 9am on Wednesday, about 20 armed peoples invaded their community, shooting sporadically, burning houses and looting properties of the people of Ochienyim.

He said: “This is the fourth in the series of attack by the people of Adadama community against our people since after the Assistant Inspector General of Police in-charge of zone 6 called a meeting of the 2 communities and called for a cease fire”.

“On February 17th 2016, the people of Adadama invaded our community with dangerous weapons but fortunately nobody was killed, we reported the invasion to the police”.

“On the 19th, they also invaded our community but we were able to resist them, because of the appeal of the AIG, we usually report the matter to him and usually we get assurance that such would not happen again but to the surprise of many, on the 8th of March 2016, they came in their numbers shooting and burnt 6 houses that faithful day”.

“While we were still trying to recover from the shock of the invasion, they invaded our community again killing 2 persons; burnt 10 houses, looted our livestock and household appliances and displaced more than 150 persons especially women and children”.

Mr. Nomeh recalled that on the 24th of October 2015, the militants also attacked the community, shot a police officer, burnt 20 houses and abducted some persons from the community.

CrossRiverWatch was not able to independently verify Mr. Nomeh’s claims and attempts to speak with Cross River government officials were still not successful as most of those contacted were not willing to talk to the press.

But the Ebonyi state Police spokesman, George Okafor, said the command was yet to ascertain if anyone was killed or not.

According to the Police Spokesman, “The village Chairman of Ochienyim community reported that one Elijah Nomeh is missing and men of the command have combed the whole buffer zone and there is no trace of said person or any of his wears to indicate he has been killed. For now we presume he was abducted by the people of Adadama,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that on the faithful day, there was gunshot around the buffer zone yet he decided to go and harvest cassava there, we are not aware of the second person but I can assure you that only one person is still missing.”

The spokesman stated that the command had communicated their Cross River counterpart to ensure the rescue of the missing person.

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