Two persons have been reported dead in a land dispute between the people of Ikot Obio Offong and their neighbours from Ikot Ekwere, in Ibesikpo Asutan local government area of AKwa Ibom State.
Speaking to newsmen at the palace of the Village Head of Ikot Obio Offong , one of the family heads, Chief Sunday Etim Nyong, recalled that “some youths from Ikot Ekwere village numbering over 200 invaded the village chanting war songs accompanied with several gunshots. The hoodlums were also chanting slogans of different cult groups such as ‘Lion’, ‘Barga’ and other offensive words, challenging the people of Ikot Obio Offong, to come out for a war and warned our youths to dare trespass on the land.”
According to the monarch, the youths suspected to have come from Ikot Ekwere village “invaded my domain from the first house and started destroying different compounds, breaking window glasses, burnt down houses and cars parked in the compounds and completely razed down one house before our youths could mobilize to ward off the invaders”.
“They also burnt down one Toyota Camry car belonging to the son of the village head, Christopher Ephraim and wounded many people in the compound”, he added.
Nyong noted that over 20 houses were torched while, domestic animals, money and other belongings were carted away, lamenting that “up till now, two persons are still missing”.
“What surprised the people most was that after reporting the matter to the police at Ibesikpo Asutan Police Division, who later came for inspection, the hoodlums reinforced and return for another attack in broad day the following day,” he said.
The family head stated that the police from the state headquarters also reinforced in about five Hilux vehicles to rescue residents of Ikot Obio Offong.
He said while the matter was pending at the Police Headquarters at Ikot Akpanabia, the paramount ruler of Ibesikpo Asutan local government area, Nsobom Nsidibe Ekong, issued a native injunction to forestall further hostilities.
However, the police public relations officer, Mr Odiko Mcdon, said the crisis is currently being investigated with a view to bringing back peace to the affected communities and the culprits brought to book.