By Jonathan Ugbal
Despite lodging at the presidential villa of the Obudu mountain resort located in Becheve, Obanliku local government area for more than a week now, Governor Ben Ayade has failed to address a lingering communal clash which has left at least six dead during his stay.
The clash is between Lishiche community of Bishiri in Obanliku local government area of Cross River and Mbakunu community of Kwande local government area of Benue state.
The age long dispute is over a farm land said not to measure up to five square kilometers.
Fighting had resumed in June after nearly a year with at least four left dead. But, hostilities ceased after soldiers from the Godwin Ally Cantonment in Ogoja were drafted in.
But, the soldiers left the post on July 6, 2020 and hostilities resumed on July 7, 2020.
Mr. Ayade departed Calabar for the resort on Friday, July 10th and between then and when he returned on Friday, at least six have been killed with the Governor yet to issue a statement or meet with the community leaders.
While there, he met with select members of host communities of the proposed international cargo airport in Obudu local government area and those of the mountain resort. He did not meet with the Bishiri community.
Yesterday I met with local communities in the Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort. We discussed issues affecting them as host communities.
However, one of his aides told this reporter that the Governor had already sent the commander of the Mopol 75 Squadron of the Nigerian police to go quell the crisis.
“On Thursday, he called the commander and told him to go there himself with the en around him to settle the problem,” the aide said.
Residents say three Mbakunu natives were killed on Sunday, July 12th; one was killed on Wednesday, July 15th and one out of the two killed on Thursday, July 16th is a native of Lishiche.
As at press time, the fighting raged on and it remained unclear whether the Squadron had deployed to the conflict zone.
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