Chairman of Ikom Local Government Council in Cross River State, Hon Kingsley Egumi has given further details on how the communal clash in Abankang and Alok communities in Ikom Local Government Area claimed four lives, destroyed property worth billions of Naira and displaced over 2, 000 people.
Speaking with GoldennewNG on Monday morning via phone, Hon Kingsley who lamented the incident said that the killing, destruction and displacement of people wouldn’t have been so devastating assuming some politicians in the area were not involved.
He said it would have been a small clash between Abankang and Alok communities where Chris Agibe and House member come from, but it later turned out to be the entire ward.
He explained that there used to be an armed check point around the area because that land had been in dispute, but the sudden withdrawal of the Army from the road and the place made the place porous.
“I got a distress call on Tuesday morning that some boys had started destroying things and I invited the Police, and we went there. We were able to calm down the situation and there was absolute peace, hoping that everything had been resolved, but on Wednesday, another crisis broke out. One of the Abankang boy was gunned down and four other boys wounded.
“We went back with some soldiers, police and other security agencies and effort was made to calm down the situation, and the police took the corpse to the mortuary. Later that same evening, there was what we call Bako Union that has to do with Ikom and part of Ogoja that sued for peace and everybody accepted.
“On Thursday, we have negotiated for another meeting between the leadership of the two communities in Ikom by 10 am, hoping that they were going to come but all of a sudden, the OC from the barracks told me that the House of Reps member had called him and said the meeting should be shifted from 10am to 1pm.
“And I wondered what would have been the reason; this is a man whose name was mentioned right from the day the crises started. I begged on the security personnel to call him and let us resolve the crisis before it escalates, but they said he was in Abuja
“As I was making calls to resolve the crisis, before 9am-10am of that day, the crisis started again and houses were burnt down, the entire community affected. Over two hundred houses affected, four persons, killed while over 2, 000 people displaced,” Hon. Kingsley said.
It was gathered that some people who sustained various degrees of injuries are now under medication at the Ikom General Hospital.