Ten youths were reportedly killed in renewed hostilities between Usumutong and Ediba communities both in Abi local government area of Cross River State at the weekend.

It was gathered both communities have been in conflict for years over ownership of a piece of land, often leading to loss of lives and property.

A resident of the area said yesterday, “On Friday, there was a burial at Usumutong. The Ediba people used the opportunity of the other people engaging in a burial to attack. The Ediba people knew that the Usumutong people because of the burial were unprepared for any attack.

“They are still quarrelling over a piece of land. They are saying that the last time there was a conflict, the Usumutong people inflicted so much casualties on them, so they were looking for an opportunity to strike back and did so on Friday. It was a revenge attack.

“The people of Usumutong who suffered the attack are planning a counterattack from what I am hearing because it is like tomorrow (Monday) is the market day of the Ediba people. 

“It is actually is actually a sad situation because the two communities are brothers and sister. There is no difference between them and they are just killing themselves like that. It is just animalistic. In this age of civilisation, people are still doing such.”

State Security Adviser, Mr Jude Ngaji, security agents have been drafted to the area and normalcy restored for the meantime. He said they will keep their eyes open to ensure another outbreak of violence does not occur.

“The governor is very livid with this development because great efforts have been made to bring peace to the area. We had gotten respected leaders of both communities and plans were still on to ensure both communities co-exist peacefully. Then all of a sudden this happens.

“There will no longer be any Mr Nice Guy in dealing with this problem. The big stick still will be employed this time to check the problem. The present administration will ensure that though the problem has been age long, it will end once and for all. We will ensure that every perpetrator of this crisis will be brought to book,” he said.

Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade

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