Military and other security personnel attached to the Calabar/Itu bridge head along Cross River and Akwa Ibom States boundary have repelled suspected attackers from entering Ikot Offiong in Odukpani local government area of Cross River State.
The suspects, who carried warring weapons and other equipment were alleged to have came in from Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
A source who pleaded for anonymity alleged that the suspected war lords gathered at Itu and moved in large numbers towards the bridgehead with a view to crossing to Cross River State to attack their perceived enemies in Ikot Offiong community, in Odukpani but were repelled by security operatives.
“The suspected war lords gathered in the early hours (2-3am) of Saturday with a view to launching an attack on the people of Ikot Offiong in Odukpani local government area of Cross River but the military stopped them from crossing.
“We are very grateful to the military and other security agencies. Already, more than eight persons are feared dead, while property worth several millions of naira have been destroyed in the renewed communal clash which started on Wednesday,” the source alleged.
Another source in Ikot Offiong in Odukpani local government area of Cross River who also pleaded that his name should not be mentioned alleged that the people in the area got whisper of the attack and alerte the military who responded swiftly.
“We also prepared ourselves since the area is now a war front. These people have burnt down our houses and killed our people. This thing did not start today and we don’t know when it will stop or end.
“Our only saviour will be in God as the governments of Cross River and Akwa Ibom States have tried to solve the situation to no avail. When we experience peace for one, two, three months, the crisis will erupt again” he lamented.
Speaking with newsmen, the State Security Adviser (SSA), to Governor Ben Ayade lamented the crisis in the area and said “When we got information that the suspected war lords have gathered under the bridge, we alerted the military and they responded swiftly.
“The warriors have been repelled, we are monitoring the situation. Let me advise the warring communities to give peace a chance. What do we achieve when we burn our houses, destroy our farm lands and kill our people?” He asked.
The SSA said that government will do all it can to bring to an end the perennial crisis in the area and called on various traditional rulers to maintain peace and order in their domain.
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