We never attacked soldiers, besieged Cross River community debunks allegation
NKO community in Cross River State has refuted claims that they attacked some military personnel posted to maintain peace in the warring communities.
Nko community in Yakurr Council has been at a war with neighbouring community, Onyadama in Obubra Council over a piece of land resulting in the recent loss of lives and properties.
They called on the Federal Government, the Chief of Army Staff and the state government to order the withdrawal of soldiers from Nko to the boundary between the two communities.
The community stated their position, yesterday, at a press conference at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Calabar, following the state government’s directive on the alleged attack.
Speaking on behalf of the community, Dr. Akpama Akpama and Pastor Usani Usani claimed that soldiers unleashed terror on the community by raping women and shooting at sight.
According to them, six persons have been allegedly killed, scores wounded and houses burnt by soldiers.
He said: “While we appreciate the early intervention of security institutions and Nigeria Army, in particular, on the escalated conflict between our community (Nko) and Onyedama community, we nonetheless take exception to the manner, unethical and unprofessional way the crisis is being managed.
“As a community, we cannot and will never organise any form of conflict against anyone or group of persons. We won’t even contemplate an attack on the military.
“We are aware of allegations of some military personnel being attacked in the course of their duty to maintain peace in the conflict between the two communities. The military personnel had alleged, though informally, that a soldier was shot at Nko and, without giving room for investigations to be carried out and if possible fish out the culprit and hand him or her to authority, decided to take revenge in a manner that could be termed callous, unprofessional and primitive.”
He claimed military action had rendered the entire indigenes of Nko homeless, alleging cases of arson, rape and shooting at the sight of persons and brutalisation of women.
While regretted what they described as occasional conflicts between the communities, the community said the situation demand more precise actions beyond mere pronouncements.