By Emma Una
CALABAR—FOUR communities in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State were, yesterday, razed following a communal conflict with neighbouring Ikwo community of Ebonyi State.
The villages razed include Egbor, Ipene and Abanwan communities, all in Biase Local Government Area of the state.
A source in the area told Vanguard on phone that the Ebonyi warlords invaded the first community, Egbor as early as 4a.m. yesterday, where two persons were reportedly killed before razing the community and from there moved to Ipene, which they razed since the people had escaped before their arrival.
From Ipene, they moved to Abanwan, where they also killed two people before setting fire on the village.
A Vanguard source, who prefers anonymity, said the people of Ipene heard gunshots suspected to be machine guns in the wee hours of the day and suspected an attacked. They left the community before the warlords arrived.
According to t he source, “as we speak, all of us are in the bush. We started hearing gunshots at about 4a.m. in the neighboring village, Egbor, and we suspected that something was wrong because after the Orugbam people were sacked from their communities last year, they promised that they will bring their associates from Ebonyi State.
“You know that immediately Orugbam community was burnt down last year, they moved to Unwana, Afikpo and the surrounding Ebonyi communities.
“We did not know that they were planning to use them to attack us until this morning(yesterday). Egbor has been completely burnt down with two people killed.
“By the time they arrived Ipene, because we heard the gunshots, our people had moved into the bush so they came and did not meet anybody. What they did was to raze down every building standing in Ipene before moving to their main target, Abanwan where they killed two people and also burnt the place.”
He recalled that Ebonyi people had always wanted to take over the oil plantation in Egbor and were often assisted by Orugbam until the latter was sacked last year.
He added: “The problem has always been the oil plantation in Egbor where Ebonyi people have always come to exploit and they have always been assisted by Orugbam.”