Tension in Cross River as two communities lay claim to beheaded bodies
Tension is mounting in Cross River following the recent beheading of a man and his son in Abi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Already, there are threats and counter threats between the communities of Ebom and Usumutong who are both laying claims to the beheaded bodies.
The people of Ebom had claimed that the man and his son beheaded in the farm in the presence of his wife was their sons but in a shock move yesterday, the clan head of Usumutong community, Chief Eka Eremi in at a briefing claimed that the two persons, who were beheaded are their sons and not that of Ebom.
He said, “When the incident happened, I called the divisional police officer on phone and told him to send down men but before he could get there, the Ebom people quickly took away the bodies of our people they had beheaded and used the heads to run propaganda that we have beheaded their people which is not true.”
The clan head said, “the Ebom people are just looking for an excuse to attack his community because the anger of Ebom people is that the Ebijakara people who were sent away by the Ebom people in 2005 are taking refuge in Usumutong and that they have threatened to attack his community and wipe away everybody.
“In November 2018, they attacked us in alliance with two other neighbouring communities and set ablaze the palace of our king and the home of Air Vice Marshall Osim and killed many of our sons and since then, we have not reciprocated because all we need in the area is peace.
“Ebom people have made Usumutong people their enemies and do not want to hear anything about us and all their plan is to attack us and send us away like they did to Ebijakara that is why we are calling on the government both federal and state to intervene and stop them from further attacking us.
“There is no land dispute between his community with Ebom but with Ediba, another neighbouring community and the matter was settled out of court about 30 three years ago and some cases are still pending in the Supreme Court.”
He said the whole issue is being politicised because the matter is not being fully investigated before blaming anyone and security agencies should do diligent investigation into the matter.
In the wake of the crisis, the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade has warmed warring communities in the state to sheath their swords or face the wrath of government describing as unacceptable, the renewed hostilities in Abi local government area of the state.
The warning which was contained in a release signed by Mr. Christian Ita, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, said the “government will not view with kindness further loss of lives and property occasioned by avoidable communal crisis anywhere in the state.”