Reprisal attack claims five in Cross River communal clash

Communities in Cross River State are at it again as five persons have lost their lives in a renewed communal clash with property worth millions of naira destroyed.
The fresh war started yesterday morning when the people of Orugbam attempted a reprisal attack following Monday’s attack by their neighbour, Abanwan, both from Biase local government area that left three persons dead.

As at the time of writing this report, a source close to the two communities who preferred not to be mentioned, said Abanwan had started burning down houses in Orugbam.

According to the source, “as I speak with you, the Abanwan people are burning our village. We are on the run and only God knows when all these will stop.”

While narrating what led to the fresh attack, he said: “To be honest, a woman died in Abanwan and was to be buried last Saturday, about six youths from Abanwan went to various neighbouring communities to paste her posters as the tradition in the area as a way of advertising the burial.

“They went to Ibini community and pasted the posters but when they came to Orugbam, some people accosted them and waylaid them. The Abanwan people decided to bury the woman on Saturday only to attack us on Monday. To be honest, I don’t like what our people are doing because we are all one and we speak the same dialect.”

Another witness, who gave her name as Margaret, said: “Right now, only churches are left in Orugbam. We have always known that this situation will come to this point because Orugbam has always caused problem among the Erei community.

“This could be a reprisal by Abanwan people, Orugbam went to a nearby community and recruited some people and gave them military uniforms. So when the people went to Abanwan and discovered that youths there were waiting for them, they ran away, leaving some Orugbam youths behind. Five of the youths were killed and beheaded today.”

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Irene Ugbo, confirmed the attacks but said there was no death recorded. She said four persons were injured while some houses were torched.

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