By Ekong Okpa
An attempt to broker peace between communities in Obubra urban of Cross River by member representing Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency Hon. Mike Etaba was distorted by irate youths of Owakande community in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River at the week end.
The youths who are reportedly warming up for war against the people of Obubra village in the urban ward had vowed never to compromise the acquisition of some parcels of the crown land mapped out for Obubra village by the 1992 peace and arbitration committee.
Hon. Etaba who arrived Obubra to intervene on the dispute was flagrantly disregarded and embarrassed by the youths of Owakande who remarked that, they were only answerable to their son who represents Obubra 1 Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Friday Okpechi.
Hon. Okpechi a native of Owakande Community who is said to have been invited by the Rep, Hon. Etaba, to join him to calm down his people, reportedly turned down the invitation.
The youth action threatening to disorganize his entourage was confirmed by the Rep who visited Goshen High School Obubra, owned by Mr. Abraham Osok to take stock for immediate repairs of the damages during the riot as parts of his contribution to broker peace.
Investigation reveals that despite the peace meeting between the two communities with the Director of Cross River Command of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mrs. Betina Okoro, the House of Assembly Member, Hon. Friday Okpechi named 19 persons of Obubra village extraction for interrogation last Tuesday at the Criminal Investigation Department CID of Police Headquarter Calabar.
It was gathered that before the peace meeting between the two Communities with the Director of DSS, the State Assembly Member Hon. Okpechi diverted his people to the Police Headquarters for certain allegation against their neighbours who were already waiting at DSS Headquarters in Calabar.
The story line continued that the intension was to weaken the people of Obubra village by embarrassing them with Police intimidation, this their neighbour see as a ploy of using the Police to ambush them given the position of Hon. Okpechi in Government despite interventions from different quarters.
The dispute arose from a parcel of land that situates in the crown land said to be bought out rightly from the state Ministry of Lands by one Dr. Phillip Okpechi brother to Hon. Okpechi.
The land area which falls in the jurisdiction of Obubra village was resolved by peace and arbitration committee set by late Dr. Joseph Eyaba in 1992 chaired by a former Clan Head of Osopong and now Paramount Ruler of Obubra.
The matter was reported to the police and on the course of investigation, the police barred the two parties from the site.
Dr. Okpechi who was not patient enough with Police investigation resold the land to one Augustine Osowo who returned to site under the supervision of a group of Owakande youths, allegedly organized by Dr. Okpechi.