Scores feared dead as Ilaje and Ibeno natives clash in Akwa Ibom

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From Joe Effiong, Uyo

A communal clash between the Ilaje (yoruba) people of their community in Ibeno LGA of Akwa Ibom has led to the death of several people and the destruction of properties worth millions of naira in their fishing settlement.

Daily Sun learned from a community source that the number of casualties on both sides was high even as he could not ascertain the number of death as at the time of filing this report

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He said the cause of the fatal clash was still hazy but averred that it could have been a result of cult war which allegedly led to the stabbing to death of an indigene of the community which sparked off the fracas before it assumed an ethnic dimension.

He added that the Ilaje people, mostly fishermen, have started fleeing the community through bush paths, while their houses and tents are being looted and destroyed by the hoodlums.

The Police Public Relations Officer,Odiko Macdon (SP), when contacted simply said he was not aware of the crisis but he will find out.

He said ” I will find out, I am not aware but I will find out”

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A former commissioner of Special Duties in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Okpolupmn Etteh, who is from the area could not pick his calls to comment on the issue, however a concerned citizen and an indigene of Yoruba, living in Akwa Ibom state Oluwajuwon Ogunbiyi, who confirmed the incident described the situation as unfortunate and called on the state government to set up a committee to investigate the crisis.

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He said “It is quite unfortunate that this crisis has led to the loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties.The Ibeno community had been a good host over the decades to both indigenes and non indigenes have been living there in harmony without rancour.

“I’ m therefore using this medium to appeal for peace and an end to hostilities from both warring parties. I also want to call on the Governor of Akwa Ibom State as well as Head of all security agencies in the state to intervene in the matter immediately in order to stem down this waves of violence.

“The state government must as a matter of urgency set up a committee to look into this crisis so as to ascertain the major cause. Perpetrators fanning the embers of war on both sides must be arrested immediately”.

A member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Dr Usoro Akpanusoh, told our correspondent that he was aware of the incident but had yet to ascertain the real cause.

“I’m trying to get in touch with the police . You know I need to know the true situation of things before I can go there. I am also trying to get in touch with the local government chairman. As soon I get know the tru situation of things I will call you back, ” Akpanusoh said.

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