Tension in Cross River as community sacks another over land dispute in Ehom central in Biase local government area of Cross River State after communities in the area took arms against each other. Already, property worth millions of naira have been destroyed in Ehom Central.
But Police said they have mediated severally and dispatched security men to the area, still the people have refused to live in peace. The crisis according to our findings may not be unconnected with landed property. The latest attack was between Ehom Central and five other communities, Ekpri Iko, Iwuru Obio-Ntan, Ayaba, Ehom-Evia and Idoma.
DAILY POST gathered that Ehom central was attacked by the five aforementioned communities and property including furniture, electronics, mill machines, cassava machines, motorcycles, personal property such as clothes and cooking utensils were vandalized. Lamenting the situation, the Village Head of Ehom Central in Biase, Chief Onda I.
According to Eyewitness, On Monday that he left his village to Calabar to save his life as youths from five communities, armed with guns, machetes, and other warring equipment and charms destroyed his compound with a view to killing him. “They invaded my community and said I was their problem. As they advanced towards my community, they were destroying all available economic trees, destroying sign posts. They vandalized everything in my house including my mill. The issue emanated from Land.
“A woman, Mrs Rose Bassey bought land from Ekpri Iko people and the land extended to our land and I asked her to come for regularisation of tenancy. Instead of coming for regularisation, she now sponsored the people against me and my community,” he alleged, adding that his community had a land dispute with Ekpri Iko community and won in Court in 2006.
“They have not appealed the judgment since then, but while selling their land, they included our portion,” Chief Onda said. “I am sad, disappointed and discouraged by the way the Police handled the matter. I took a matter from the State Criminal and Investigations Department (CID) to Zone six; they arrested my workers when I was remanded in Prison at Afokang.
They went to my farm and destroyed my property arrested my workers and detained them for six days” he fumed”. When contacted on phone, the commissioner of Police, We have sent some Police men there, the crisis in the area has been perennial, this is not the first time, and the crisis has been regular. The Police have not only provided security but “we go round visiting and preaching to the people to embrace peace.
“We played the role of Police, we played the role of traditional rulers, we played the role of peace maker, we played the role of mediator, we played the role of everything because we want peace to reign. We kept on telling them that it was not the use of gun that give peace or by killing someone or maiming people that peace will come, No but I don’t know”. On involvement of former Accountant General, Mrs Rose Bassey, he said
She is not the one that sponsored the crisis, we have not gotten any complaint about her sponsoring any crisis but as you said one accountant general, that women cannot sponsored communal crisis, she had a problem with one man that was charged to court” The Commissioner said that the man, Chief Onda is envious of the woman because she secured loan for her farm and she has a very vast land.
The woman told me (CP) she is a woman, I am old, I cannot go and do prostitution, I want to see how I can raise my children but the man will just go and destroy the woman’s farm land and said it was his farm land and want to take it over.”