Sporadic shooting was reported in two communities in Yala council area of Cross River in a clash over a parcel of rice farm.
The shooting in O’Oba and Itega Okpame is said to have lasted all through Tuesday night according to a Report by Daily Trust Newspapers
“The Number of casualties is yet to be determined, but five people were killed when both communities clashed last two years.
Houses have been set ablaze, one of them belonging to Gabe Onah, chairman of Cross River carnival commission.
READ: Africa: Governor Ben Ayade recalls Gabe Onah the Carnival Calabar Commission Chairman from Suspension
Cross River police commissioner Alhassan Aminu has confirmed the deployment of police to the area.
“Confirming the News when Contacted Gabe Onah who was not in Ogoja at the Time of the Clash thanked Well Wishers and Sympathisers who had Called on Him.
“This is my Family compound in the village you know very well with two major buildings. One built in 1969 and the second one here built in 1975/76 or thereabout by my late Dad – late Chief David Onah ( Idea) who was a businessman and Contactor, community leader, selfless in all ways , social Engineer, peace lover and one time board member of Nigerian chronicle and Chairman of ADC Board ( Agric dev Board ).
Today the earthly remains of late chief David Onah popularly known as idea for his social engineering skills and his immediate brother late Clay Onah who was Director of Finance and Supplies NNPC, Lagos lay side by side in this ancestral home in OBA OKPOMA with two houses.
Both houses got torched this morning in the communal crisis”.
The Year 2021 will go down as a Tough Year for the family Of Gabe Onah the Chairman the Carnival Calabar Commission.
READ: Africa: Aftermath of Carnival Calabar Awards, Governor Ayade Suspends Gabe Onah
Earlier in the Year the Governor of Cross River State Professor Ben Ayade had suspended him for insurbodination. Though it was lifted almost immediately when it was discovered that he was not responsible for organising the Carnival Awards without the Governor’s approval.
Incidentally he was on Official sick leave when the incident happened.
According to the news report in Daily Trust Newspaper
“Some miscreants from O’Oba invaded the other community and began to shoot,” he said.
He said he was aware that miscreants allegedly from O’Oba invaded the other community which had accused them of setting the rice farm on fire.
“Delegations from the warring communities had met with my DPO in charge of Okpoma. We have mobilised our men to take over these places. We are going to ensure peace and security.”
Meanwhile, elders of the communities assembled in the village square to see how to resolve the crisis.
But while the elders met, local folks have reportedly deserted the two communities and took refuge in the palace of the paramount ruler of Yala LGA, HRH Ogamode Onah Ipuole.
According to a community source, Helen Agbor, “Last night and into this morning, there was sporadic shooting and arson, especially on the major Ogoja-Abakaliki road that links the two communities.
“As a spillover effect, neighboring communities, especially Utukpo, Olachor and Abachor have not been at peace.
“Members of the communities gathered this morning at their respective village squares.
“Delegations were sent to the Paramount Ruler, HRH Ogamode Onah Ipuole, by elders of the communities.
“The Utukpo delegation was led by the Ogbuole (deputy clan head), Chief Moses Oko.
“The Itega community had cultivated rice on the disputed swamp and had harvested, awaiting threshing. Overnight, the harvest was set ablaze. They pointed accusing fingers at the O’Oba people. That was what set off this year’s crisis.”
An observer had wondered why the Violence will engulf the household of the Onahs as Sir Gabe had provided borehole water fetching points for Both Communities.
He provided three Borehole points for each of the communities to ease their pains. He had also donated a Borehole to the village primary school in 2018 because water is the main problem of the Community.