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Obudu Communal clash deepens as Otugwang joins conflict

By John Ighodaro
CALABAR—The people of Otugwang have joined the communal clash in the Obudu local government area of Cross Rivers State which had initially involved the people of Kutia and Okworogwong, resulting in more casualties.

The conflict, which  has caused the death of over ten people in Obudu local government area has cut off Obudu–Ogoja highway, as people travelling between Obudu and Ogoja now have to go through Vandeikya in the neighbouring state of Benue.

Otugwang, which happens to be the hometown of Uti  J. D.  Agba, the paramount  ruler of Obudu, joined the conflict when one of its sons travelling from Obudu to Otugwang was allegedly killed by the people of Kutia, prompting the people of Otugwang to launch a reprisal attack on Kutia people.

According to a source that spoke on grounds of anonymity,  “the man was coming from Obudu to Otugwang thinking that since the conflict does not involve Otugwang, he was going to have a free access, but the people of Kutia killed him in retaliation for the killing of a man from Ohong by the people of Okworogwong.”

A teacher, Mr.. Ignatius Odem in neighbouring Bedia said since the crises erupted he has witnessed a frightening spectacle. According to him, the combatants are blind in their rage and are therefore killing women and children who are innocent and harmless.
His words: “ It is frightening. You need to get to the scene of the war and see how terrible things are. They are not making any distinction between the combatants and non combatants like children and women.”

Vanguard gathered that trouble started from a misunderstanding between the people of Kutia  and Okwororogwong over an expanse of land in the area which each community laying claim to the land in dispute. The dispute soon snowballed into violent conflict with combatants taking up machetes and guns to do battle.

The crises is raging in the LGA where the famous Obudu Cattle Ranch is located but sources have notified Vanguard that the crises has not gotten to the ranch and the police have advised that anyone travelling to the area should  go through Vandeikyya in Benue State.


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