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Clash over okada revenue leaves 9 hospitalised in Cross River community

By Emma Una

CALABAR—COMMUNAL violence in Bendeghe in Etung Local Government Area of central Cross River State has left nine persons with severe injuries.

Engineer Attah Obi Tangban, a community leader in the area, told Vanguard that the conflict is between two rival groups in the community, who are fighting over revenue charged commercial motorcyclists (okada), which ply farm routes in the village.

“Greed is responsible for the violence that is consuming the town of Bengeghe; the tendency to grab all and deny one’s brother a piece of the cake is what provoked the violence,” Tangban said.

*Some commercial motorcyclists during operation

He added that one of the groups reportedly hijacked motorcycles belonging to members of the other group and set them ablaze, leading to the fight with machetes, which left nine with severe injuries.

The Special Adviser on Cocoa Development to Governor Ayade, Mr. Oscar Ofuka, who is from the area, said: “We have appealed for calm because at the rate this young men are going, this town will be completely razed if nothing is done.”

He said the governor is angry with the violence and has warned that government would no longer tolerate acts of communal conflicts, which have bedevilled the state in the past one year.

According to Ofuka “we have convened a town hall meeting at the instance of the governor, who has warned that government would no longer tolerate communal violence in any form because it is a draw back on all the things we are doing to transform Cross River State.”

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