One Feared Dead, Houses Smashed Over Land Dispute In C/River

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A land dispute between the people of New Netim and Odukpani Qua towns, both in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State has left one person dead, with several houses vandalised, on Monday morning.

An eye witness in the area told LEADERSHIP that the incident, which left two others with gunshot injuries, occurred at about 1am.

According to the witness, who is a native of the area, the clash followed an alleged invasion of New Netim town by suspected thugs from Odukpani Qua town.

He disclosed that the house of the father of governor Ben Ayade’s media aide, Mr. Christian Ita, was also touched.

Ita’s father; Ntufam Raphael Okpa Ita, is the head of New Netim Village in Odukpani, it was further gathered.

“The origin of the problem is land. There is a dispute over ownership of a land and the thing went to court and New Netim won in the court. So, the Odukpani Qua people are not happy. This is the second time they are doing that.

“The recent one happened on Monday at about 1am; the people of Odukpani Qua Town invaded New Netim. They hired cultists and invaded the village. They razed many houses. They also burnt several cars. One boy has been killed. Two others were shot, but are alive.

“On the 24th of August this year, New Netim Council wrote to security chiefs alerting them to credible information they had that there was plan to attack them. The security chiefs called the two communities together and of course the Odukpani Qua people denied that there was such a plan. But look at what has happened now”, he said.

Reacting, the State’s Security Adviser, Mr. Jude Ngaji, said “It started at about 1am to 1.30am and immediately we got the call, we deployed security men there, but before the men got there, the havoc had already been committed.

“The Army and Operation Scolombo responded immediately. The team was led by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, operations, himself.

“For now, the area is calm as security agents have been deployed to the area. We are asking everybody to go about their normal duties, as the police and army have taken over the place in terms of security.”

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