Cross River State Government has ordered the immediate dethronement and de-certification of the Obol Lopon of Nko, Obol Etim Ayomobi, in Yakurr and the Clan Head of Oyadama, Ovarr Vincent Erena, in Obubra local government areas over the shooting of the six military personnel by youths of Nko community.
The government has also sacked
all other village chiefs in the two warring communities of Nko and Oyadama just as it has taken
over the ownership of the disputed land untill those behind the shooting of offiers are produced or fished out.
In a press release signed by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ben Ayade, Mr Linus Obogo, and made available to journalists in Calabar on Tuesday, it said the dethronement and de-certification of the two monarchs are as a result of the intractable communal clashes.
According to the release, “the ownership of the disputed land has been revoked and taken over by the state government for overriding public interest.
“Additionally, government has ordered the sustenance of army operation in Nko community until those behind the shooting of the six military personnel are produced or fished out.”
Both Nko and Oyadama communities have been engaged in fratricdal war over a piece of land, leading to reprisal attacks in the last two months.
The state government had initiated series of peace talks seeking an end to the communal clashes to no avail.
The recent outbreak of hostilities was as a result of failure of peace moves initiated by the office of Security Adviser to the Governor headed by Dr Alfred Mboto, leading to depolyment of military personnel from nearby Edor barracks in Ikom to quell the communal war between Nko and Onyadama.
However, trouble again started when the Nko youths were said to have shot and wounded some soldiers on peace mission and disappeared into the bush on Saturday night.
A witness, Emmanuel Ibor, said as a result of the shooting of some military personnel, the soldiers went on rampage raiding Nko community and destroying houses in search of the perpetrators.
Sources at the village told our correspondent that the palace of the Village Head of Nko – Obol Effiom Ayomobi, and other buildings were allegedly set ablaze by the soldiers.
The source disclosed that Nko community has been deserted as women, children and youths have moved to nearby Mkpani and Ugep communities to take refuge.