- No fewer than 13 persons have been killed and two villages burnt in the renewed clash between the Ukele community of Cross River and the Izzi community of Ebonyi state
- This recent episode began when a woman was reportedly shot in her farm on Monday, June 18
- The deputy governor of the state has appealed to the Izzi people to maintain peace and order
- He assured them that the state government would not fold its arm and watch Ebonyi people slaughtered
The inter-communal conflict between the people of Ukele in Yala local government area of Cross River state and their Izzi neighbours of Ebonyi state, led to the death of about thirteen persons on Friday, June 22.
Two villages were also razed during the incident, with no fewer than 7000 Igbeagu Izzi indigenes displaced, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that the clashes began in 2003; and is a recurring decimal particularly during yam and rice planting seasons. It stems from issues over farmland along the common border of both communities, and has led to the death of several persons since it started.
This recent episode began when a woman was reportedly shot in her farm on Monday, June 18. Again, some youths in Ipuolo village reportedly sustained gunshot wounds after being reportedly waylaid by their Izzi counterparts on Wednesday, June 20.
The community relations officer to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state, Vincent Egbe, stated that the mayhem started when a peace meeting convened by the divisional police officer for the area and his Ebonyi state counterpart to find a peaceful resolution to the matter, was invaded by some Izzi assailants.
He said: “We were already in the meeting venue waiting for the arrival of the DPOs from Yala and Izzi local government areas when some youths invaded the venue of the meeting and shot into the crowd and wounded many people."
Egbe said the attackers were repelled by the Ukele youths who managed to mobilise; and that it was during the ensuing battle that the village of Nkaleke and Nduabonyi were raved and many people lost their lives.
He stated: “They are the aggressors; and all our people have been trying to do is to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, yet they keep launching attacks on us."
However, the deputy governor of of Ebonyi state, Dr Kelechi Igwe, has appealed to the Izzi people to maintain peace and order; and has given the assurance that the state government would not fold its arm and watch Ebonyi people slaughtered on the alter of insecurity and wickedness.
He directed the cantonment commander, Lt. Sa’aad Sadiq, to immediately deploy more troops to the troubled zone to ensure the safety of both Ebonyians in Izzi and foreigners travelling along the Abakaliki-Ogoja trans-Sahara highway.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that eight people were feared to have been killed in clashes between communities in Cross River and Ebonyi states.
The conflict occurred between Ochienyim community in Amagu, Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi state and Adadama community in Abi local government area of Cross River state.
According to residents, five of those allegedly killed were from Adadama community, while three others were from Amagu village. Several people were also said to have been injured in the violent clashes.
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