By Emma Una – Calabar
Mkpani, the home of Mr Clement Ebri, former governor of Cross River State and current Board of Trustee, BoT, member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is embroiled in a fierce intra-communal conflict with many people reportedly killed.
Reports from the area which is about one hundred kilometres from Calabar say the crisis which is a chieftaincy tussle started in the night of Saturday, September 28 after one of the hamlets, Afaben, held its annual new yam festival.
Vanguard source, a journalist with the state tabloid, Nigerian Chronicle, Mazi Ukonu who is from the area said the chief of Afaben, His Highness, Obol Lopon Sunday Okoi is insisting that he is the only Obol Lopon in Mkpani and that Chief Dan Ubi of Aduma hamlet who has tajen the title of Obol Lopon of Aduma is bearing an illegal title.
He said HRH, Obol Sunday Okoi had instituted a court case against the Chief of Aduma snd seven others insisting that for over three hundred years, there has only been one Obol Lopon in Mkpani and not two.
“The case is in a Calabar High Court but he is not patient to wait for the outcome of the court case before attacking us”.
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He said sophisticated weapons are being deployed by all sides in the conflict which has led to many casualties and houses being razed.
“As I speak to you now, many people have been killed but I cannot give the exact figure from my hiding place. Houses in both Afaben and Aduma have been burnt down in the crisis which is still raging now, Sunday evening,.
The Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr Eteng Williams is from the community and efforts to speak with him did not yield result as his phone line was unreachable.
Police Public Relations Officer for the State Police Command, DSP Irene Ugbo says more anti-riot policemen have been deployed to the area.