By Jonathan Ugbal
The alleged kidnap of a native of Imo state, Mr. Augustine Okoli may have fueled the recent crisis between the Abonkib community in Obudu local government area of Cross River State and Mbazerem community of Vandeikya local government area of Benue state CrossRiverWatch findings reveal.
The clashes broke out on Wednesday morning and Mr. Okoli’s family say he has been missing since last week Saturday after leaving home for his farm at a portion of land close to the federal college of education in Obudu.
He is said to have left his phone at home as it was bad and investigations are ongoing to unravel if he was actually abducted by the Tivs as alleged in Obudu, a top government functionary (names withheld) told CrossRiverWatch.
Also, his second wife is said to be a native of Gboko local government area of Benue State.
Meanwhile, the victim of a gunshot wound from the recent clash who was rushed to a hospital in Obudu town died Thursday morning police sources say.
This comes barely 24 hours after the Army personnel deployed to the area took charge of the situation.
However, an aide to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Mr. Emmanuel Akwagiobe who is in a committee seeking a solution to the crisis told CrossRiverWatch that political and traditional leaders in Obudu have contacted their counterparts in Vandeikya including the Chairman, Mr. Dennis Akura to broker lasting peace between both local governments.
He said the crisis erupted as a result of an encroachment into about 20 hectares of land belonging to Obudu farmers which he claimed that the Vandeikya natives owned up to.
CrossRiverWatch could not independently verify these claims as at press time.
But, Mr. Akwagiobe said that both communities will meet on Monday and a possible solution will be the declaration of the area as a buffer zone and the destruction of the crops.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.