At least six persons have been killed and many wounded as properties are being destroyed in a first ever communal clash between Oba and Itega Okpame communities, both in Okpoma, headquarters of Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.
TNN gathered that the land tussle between the two brothers has lingered for two years with Itega Okpame community obtaining both high court and appeal court Judgements respectively, in their favour.
Lamenting the gory state of affairs, Mr Simon Okwori said he was astonished at the turn of events that have defied all solutions, even with the moves by the paramount ruler, His Royal Highness Ogamode Onah Ipuole in trying to amicably solve the issue.
“This situation has been lingering over a decade now. Two years ago if not for the quick intervention of Yala prominent sons and daughters, it would have escalated to a full blown war.
“Yala paramount ruler has been very unbiased in his judgement over this case; his verdict was fair to the both parties. A proper delineation of boundaries was carried out and agreed to many of us,” he said.
Also speaking, John Oko from neigbouring community of Olachor said most of the men were seen dancing with fresh human heads in the playground, even as soldiers drafted to the troubled spot on Friday could not stop the crisis from escalating to causality level.
“Though the security personnel were here yesterday, most of the attacks were carried out in the disputed land at night.”
TNN gathered that the Chairman of Yala Local Government Security Council, Eddy Achi and other stakeholders are in the warring zone suing for peace.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident but said security has been beefed up in the area to forestall further violence.