By Dave Akate/Agency Reports
The Cross River State Government on Tuesday said that it will wield the big stick in dealing with residents whose actions have led to communal conflicts by arresting the culprits no matter their socio-political status.
The Government said its subtle approach to resolving crisis should not be taken for granted as the inhuman behavior exhibited by such people has forced government to explore other options including making them account for the lives and properties destroyed.
The Director General of the State’s Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) John Inaku disclosed the government’s position while delivering relief materials to victims of a communal clash between Ababene and Iyamitet communities in Obubra local government area of central Cross River State, over 120 kilometers north of Calabar, the state capital.
Over 200 houses were burnt and some 3,000 people displaced said the youth leader of Ababene community, Bassey Agbor who listed the villages to include Ububema, Ofura, Oposi, Border, Akpantere, Oron, Oyemkpa, Arobom and Ababene.
Inaku said the attitude of perpetrators of the violence which left a trail of destruction at Ababene villages did not portray the spirit of hospitality and brotherly love the state is known for and described the situation as pathetic.
He urged the community leaders to distribute fairly, the relief materials to all victims and maintained that Government’s magnanimity was in fulfillment of its statutory duties of meeting the humanitarian needs of the victims and not a sign of weakness.
The relief materials included bags of rice, beans, wrappers, mattresses, blankets and garri with the victims lauding the government’s aid.
The secretary of the Ababene traditional rulers council, Amon Obu appealed to the state to call on the Iyamitet people to restrain from attacking their community and disclosed that the chiefs are doing their best to restrain Ababene youths from taking up arms against Iyamitet which according to him has been their peaceful neighbors for decades.
Also, he alleged that the attacks has left a young man dead, murdered in his farmland and described his people as “hardworking” who are focused on development and not communal disturbances.
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