Judex Okoro, Calabar
Tension has gripped Ebom community in Cross River State as a man and his son were beheaded in the farm by suspected assailants from Usumutong.
Three other persons from Ebom, who also went to farm, are missing, thereby throwing the community into mourning mood.
The attack is as a result of the renewed communal clash between Ebom and Usumutong communities in Abi Local Government Area.
The two neighbouring communities have been engaged in fratricidal war over the ownership of a farmland located within the border area.
Daily Sun has it on good authority that all entreaties by critical stakeholders within and outside the community to resolve the lingering crisis have been rebuffed by both communities.
A witness, Osim Agbo, said recent incident occurred on Saturday when a group of Usumutung youths allegedly ambushed the people of Ebom working in their farms and killed Mr. Oti Ato and his son, Sunday, while the grandson, Michael, narrowly escaped with a bullet wound.
Agbo said while the victims were busy harvesting cassava in their farm, the assailants struck and hacked Oto and Sunday down with machete cuts on the duo and later beheaded them in front of his wife.
He said youths, who wore charms around their bodies tied with red clothes and red faze-caps, were seen moving round the other farms searching for Ebom indigenes.
Bemoaning the tragic incident, the village head of Ebom, Chief Sunday Obite, told newsmen in a telephone interview that while the headless bodies of the victims have been recovered with the help of soldiers deployed to the communities since the crisis started sometimes last year, the three persons missing have not been seen.
He said: “The man and his family were harvesting casssava when they were attacked by Usumutong people. “They even made the wife, Eliza Oti, to watch while they beheaded the husband and the son and later told her to take the message to their people.
“We had thought that with the presence of soldiers, peace had returned, but the recent killings have shown there is no peace.”
Obite said they have reported to the police, while appealing for calm from his people.
The grandson, who is currently receiving treatment from the bullets shots he got in one of the hospitals located in a nearby local government, also confirmed that he saw them “cutting off his grandfather and his father’s head from his hiding place in the bush.”
The state police public relation officer, Irene Ugbo, confirmed incident. She said: “we are aware of the killing and the commissioner of police has deployed men there and the community leaders have also been invited to meet with the commissioner for further deliberation. For now, the area is calm.”