By Emma Una
CALABAR- THE palace of Chief Edward Osim, the Paramount Ruler of Abi local Government Area of Cross River State and father in law to former President Goodluck Jonathan and those of other members of the Usumutong community have been reportedly razed by their Ebom neighbours in a communal conflict between the two which is still raging on Thursday afternoon during the time of this report.
According to a journalist with the local newspaper, Chronicle who is based in the area, Johnson Ege the conflict which has been lingering since September during the time of political parties primaries where Prince Edward, son inlaw to President Jonathan contested the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, House of Representatives post for the Abi/Yakkkur Federal constituency came to a head last night,
“One person was allegedly abducted and killed by the Ebom people after the an Usumutong youth tried to attack an Ebom okada man and his passengers who managed to escape and since then the conflict has been boiling between the two neighbouring communities”.
He said skirmishes started in the night of Wednesday when the Ebom people allegedly stormed the Usumutong community and set homes ablaze and killed many people.
He said over a thousand refugees from Usumutong are now taking refuge in the palace of the Obol Lopol, the King of Ugep and their plight is pathetic.
“Many of those who are here came almost bare body because the conflict started at the night when they had gone to bed so they barely escaped with what they had in their bodies”.
He said he could not ascertain the number of casualty but that some people who escape to Ugep said some of those fleeing with them were gunned down while some could not make it.
Police Public Relations Officer for the Cross River Police Command, Irene Ugbo said the police is responding to the situation by sending more anti riot policemen to the area.