In Cross River State, the communal war involving Usumutong, Ebom, Ebijakara, Ediba and other communities in Bahumono in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River state has led to the gruesome killing of a pastor, George Lifted and his friend whose identity was not known at the time of this report.
They were said to have been murdered by unidentified persons who also cut off their heads in Ebom. Over 11 people have so far been killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed since the war started three weeks ago.
The gory photos of the headless pastor and his friend have gone viral on social media.
A friend of the pastor, Rajuno Ohen who broke the news of the killing said “goodnite my covenant brother. It is a pity you died a painful death. You were beheaded on your way to Ebom, with the person you carried. So this is how your ministry ended, with all your struggles and commitment to kingdom service? You did not reap the fruit of your labour.”
Reports say two other pastors had earlier been killed in the course of the communal war.
The deployment of security personnel to the war zone has not helped matters as killings have continued.
The state government also summoned a meeting of Bahumono leaders recently to find a lasting solution to the crisis in the communities but that also has not yielded any positive result.
When contacted, the state Police Command Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, failed to pick repeated calls to her mobile line.
Meanwhile, a leader of Ebom community, Chief Irem Enyim-Egu, had denied media reports that his people attacked Usumtong community recently.
Enyim-Egu told journalists in Calabar that they did not take part in the destruction of houses and killing of some persons during an attack on Usumutong.
The genesis of the latest crisis is that Ebijakara people who were displaced from their ancestral home about 13 years ago due to communal clash decided to leave Usumutong where they had been all these years and return to their original settlement.
But they could not get back to their homes as they were allegedly prevented by Ebom people who chased them back to Usumutong. The situation later degenerated, leading to the killings and burning of houses.