At least five people have been confirmed dead following renewed land dispute crisis between the people of Adadama in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State and their Amagu neighbours in Nko Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The age-long communal clash between both communities over a parcel of farmland had over the years claimed several lives with its attendant wanton displacements arising from the destruction of properties.
Southern City News learnt on Friday that four persons were killed when some women from Adadama went to their farms to harvest cassava but were chased out by some youths from Amagu. The source, who preferred anonymity, said trouble started when the youths from Adadama got the wind and mobilised immediately back to the farm land to protect the women.
“When they reported their ordeal, the youths of Adadama went on rescue mission and fracas ensued. It led to the death of four Adadama youths while four persons were rushed to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital with bullet wounds. I learnt that one Ikor Anali later died in the hospital,” she said. Those said to be receiving treatment at the hospital, according to the source, include 16-year-old John Edward, Emmanuel George (20) and Lebo Linus (17).
It was not clear if there were casualties from the Ebonyi end as a result of the renewed clash. However, it was learnt that the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. John Gaul-Lebo, who is from Adadama, was already in discussions with other leaders of the community to ensure that peace returned.
The State Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji, said that relative calm had returned to the community. He said, “Immediately the crisis broke, I called my colleague in Ebonyi State because we have been talking. There is a joint boundary committee between Ebonyi and Cross River to resolve that crisis. “The Cross River Police Commissioner also called the Ebonyi Police Commissioner and a detachment of mobile policemen were immediately moved in there to calm the situation and relative calm has returned and we intend to keep the police there for some time to ensure that the peace is not disrupted while the talking is ongoing. But the truth is that the long term solution to that problem is for the National Boundary Commission to return there and do the needful.”
The Director-General of Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu, who is also from Adadama, had paid visit to the victims receiving treatment at the UCTH. She sympathised with the victims and lamented the ordeal the Adadama people had been facing over the unending boundary war.