By Patrick Obia
Men of the Nigerian Army, Danare Operation Base, has shoot a native of Biajua Community, Anthony Bette Kajang in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria.
The incident occurred on Thursday morning, June 18, 2020 as a result of the ongoing land crisis between Biakwan and Biajua Communities (Boki) versus the Cross River State Government.
The Cross State Government has been at loggerhead with Biajua and Biakwan Communities over a Reserved Forest which the Ayade administration intends to acquire for Ayade Farms.
The Communities are alleging that the State Government is trying to acquire the Reserved Forest through the back door, without due process, thus, they’re won’t yield.
CrossRiverWatch findings reveal that there was a meeting with Biajua Community on Monday, 15 June, 2020, where the Chairman of Biajua Community Town Council, Mr. Francis Ojong also known as Eze Ego informed those present about the Governor’s intention to farm in the Reserved Forest owned by the two Communities.
On Tuesday, 15 June, 2020 a team of surveyors commenced work and concluded surveying the next day being Wednesday.
On Thursday, 18 June, 2020, soil samples were taken by a team led by the State Commissioner for Works, Engr. Dane Osim Asu.
CrossRiverWatch confirmed that the surveying and taking of samples were carried without the consent of Biajua Community. The both Communities after consultation with each other outrightly rejected the Ayade Farms project.
The action by Biajua and Biakwan Communities irked the Chairman, Biajua Community Town Council, Mr. Francis Ojong and the State Commissioner for Works, Dane Osim Asu who led the Government team.
They both vowed to deal decisively with anyone or group of person that intends to oppose the project, Community sources reveals.
As a result, some Biajua youths attempted to snatch documents physically present from the Biajua Community Town Council Chairman, Mr. Francis Ojong, which failed. In retaliation Mr. Francis immediately called for soldiers and men from the Nigerian Army, Danare Operation Base arrived.
Upon sighting the soldiers arriving in their numbers from distance, some of the youths scampered for safety while Anthony Bette Kajang and few others refused running saying they have committed no offense. The victim “was shot at directly for what they (soldiers) described as being stubborn.” An eye witness who want to remain anonymous told CrossRiverWatch.
As at the time of filing this report Anthony Bette Kajang who was shot on his right foot is receiving treatment in an undisclosed location.
The Nigerian Army has been contacted for comment.
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