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10 Dead In Abia, Cross River Communal Clash

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A communal clash between the people of Isu clan in Arochukwu local government area of Abia State and their Utuma neighbours in Biase local government area of Cross River State has left no fewer than 10 people dead as a result of the discovery of limestone in Isu.

As a result, therefore, the Isu clan in Arochukwu LGA has sent distress call to Abia State government to urgently save them from being wiped out by their Utuma community in Biase local government area of Cross River State.

Daily Times gathered that a deadly border clash between the two communities broke out penultimate Wednesday, April 18, 2018. According to Nicholas Igwe Kalu, an aide to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, through a telephone interview Monday, April 23, 2018, already, over 10 persons have been killed in the fracas while several houses have been burnt to ashes in Isu clan.

The aide had disclosed that the Isu community has been deserted as men, women, and children have fled the area for their safety and over the fear of invasion by their Cross River neighbours.

While tracing the clash to an ongoing grading of road being done by Ibeto Group of companies which discovered limestone deposit in Isu, he said the Utuma people have allegedly increased the tempo of its attacks on Isu clan since the discovery of limestone in the area was made public, alleging that the Utuma people, in collaboration with others from Biase, abducted some Isu people, including emissaries sent to go and appeal to them against disrupting the road grading project.

In as much as the Isu people were ready to persuade the Ibeto Group to assist the Utuma people if they so desire, Igwe said that in reaction, Isu people also abducted some Utuma people but explained that both sides have released their captives following the intervention of the military.

“After that, they went and reinforced and launched an unprovoked attack with sophisticated weapons, killing and destroying houses. The casualties we have recorded in this attack are only on our own side. If the government fails to intervene immediately, our clan may be wiped out.

“We want the government to bring the National Boundary Commission to, as a matter of urgency, come and demarcate our boundary with Cross River State as the best permanent solution to constant clashes between us and the Cross River people,” Kalu said

A Source, Ude Oko Chukwu, the Office of the Deputy Governor, who, currently is the Acting Governor, and one in charge of boundary matters in the state, confirmed that the incident has been brought to attention of the office, stating “As at Saturday, the Special Assistant on Security Matters brought the information to the Deputy Governor who called his Cross River counterpart and they discussed about the issue.

“He then alerted the Commissioner of Police here and the Area Commander, Ohafia which controls Arochukwu. So, they took some remedial measures and reported back to him that the situation is under control.

So, if there were other developments this morning as you said, I don’t know if that has been brought to the attention of the Deputy Governor. But as at Saturday, April 21, 2018, action had commenced,” the source told journalist in a telephone interview.

Read more at Daily Times

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