By Patrick Obia
Listen To The Report
No fewer than eight people have been reported dead in the age-long communal crisis between the Nko community in Yakurr and the Onyadama community in Obubra Local Government Areas of Cross River State.
This is coming less than two months after both communities engaged themselves over a boundary dispute which led to the kidnapping of a Nko son allegedly by the Onyadama people, and Nko allegedly reciprocated.
Over the weekend, the renewed clash surfaced, leaving no less than eight dead and others injured.
CrossRiverWatch source said the recent clash began when a few youths from Oyadama attacked and killed two young men from Nko while farming. In retaliation, Nko youths attacked and killed six in Onyadama.
The source said: “Four boys between the age range of 15-18 years old from Nko went to farm but never knew the Onyadama people had laid an ambush, as soon as these boys set fire to cook what they will eat, while the smoke started going up and others were still tilling the ground, the alleged attackers from Onyadama moved closer to them. Before these four boys could realize it, the people who were up to ten were firing at them.
“One amongst the four boys used the neighboring language of Agoi; Agoi speaks a different language, Obubra speaks different as well as Nko speaks a different language. So immediately they heard the boy using the Agoi language, they stopped shooting and withdrew thinking they were Agoi people hired to work on the farm leaving behind the two boys they had gunned down.
“The other two boys started shouting as the people ran away. One of the farmers in the bush who heard their shouts brought out his gun and fired into the air. The farmer went close to where the shout was coming from and saw two of the four boys dead.
“Few hours immediately Nko people heard what had happened, they mobilized themselves and went through the bush and got to Onyadama where they had their mill, met six of them and killed them.”
The reliable source added that several efforts to bring both communities to sign a peace accord keep hitting the rock.
“Both communities have been keeping vigil in case of reprisal attacks. There were peace talks that took place at Ikom on how peace should return to both communities, only for them to return; it was for this community to come to this community and vice versa. It was at this juncture that something else happened and the talks stalled. There is panic at the moment.”