5 killed As C/River, Akwa Ibom Youths Clash In Land Dispute

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The hostility was reported to have broken out few days ago when Oku Iboku farmers encroached on Ikot Offiong and Inua Akpa land.

At least five people are said to have been killed in renewed hostilities between youths of Akwa Ibom State living in riverine village of Oku Iboku village and their counterparts in Inua Akpa and surrounding communities of Cross River State.

The hostility was reported to have broken out few days ago when Oku Iboku farmers encroached on Ikot Offiong and Inua Akpa land.

Land encroachment has been at the heart of their frequently violent faceoffs in the past.

File: Land encroachment has been at the heart of their frequently violent faceoffs in the past.

Today youths from both sides of the states blocked flow of vehicular traffic on the popular Itu bridge on the Calabar-Itu federal highway which is the natural boundary between the two states.

Eye witnesses and motorists said the armed youths became very violent, smashing car windows and windscreens, sending road users and onlookers scampering for safety.

Ekpenyong Effiom, an indigene of Inua Akpa village said two of his cousins were killed and three others from neighbouring communities, still in Cross River State were killed by the rampaging youths.

Speaking, one Mr Kingsley Etete Bassey from Oku Iboku alleged that some persons he believed came from Cross River communities had provoked them by attacking their young men on the Itu river while fishing in the night, and killed three.

As the communal hostility heightens, the Commissioners of police in Cross River State, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh and his counterpart in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Murtala Mani were said to have despatched detachments of the Force to quell the uprising but since they could not contain the armed youths, soldiers from 13 Brigade in Calabar were reported to have been deployed. The commander, Brigadier General Bulama Biu, was to speak on the matter later.