No fewer than three people were feared dead while over 70 persons sustained various degrees of injury in a communal clash in Cross River communities.
The two neighbouring communities of Ajasor and Efraya in Etung Local Government Area went to war penultimate week over a parcel of land located at government reservation area (GRA).
It was gathered that the two communities had tried to initiate series of peace moves to forestall shedding of blood just as top government officials had meetings with the youths of the communities over the disputed land.
It is reported that Ajasor people had first launched an attack on their Efraya neighbours killing two persons and destroying cash crops and houses even when peace moves were still on. Angered by this development, the Efraya youths moved in and allegedly killed one person and destroyed houses, domestic animals and farms.
A community leader, who did not want his name in print, confided in Daily Sun that three lives were lost and property worth millions of thousands of naira lost.
The youth leader disclosed that for over a week, economic activities had been paralysed while women and children had fled to nearby villages for safety. Reacting during matter of urgent public interest on the floor of the House of Assembly, the member representing Etung State Constituency, Clement Ogisa Okongo, lamented that the two communities were in disarray and that all economic and social activities had been halted due to the clash.
He informed the House that the two communities were at each others’ throats over a piece of land in a Government Reservation Area and wondered why this had to happen when none of the communities in question had any title deed to the disputed parcel of land. Owing to the motion, the House resolved that the forestry commission should take possession of the land to avoid further incursions since the land in question was under their supervision.
The House called on security agencies to move to the area to stop the hostilities while also appealing to SEMA to send relief materials to cushion the effect of the fight and also address health issues. While lending his voice to the matter, the speaker of the House, Larry Odey called on the elite and traditional rulers to swiftly rise and tackle challenges like this, saying such steps would avert crises and would go a long way to reduce communal clashes.
Two years ago, Boje and Nsadop communities both in Boki Local Government Area of the state also fought over land in which more than 10 people lost their lives.