Cross River lawmaker condemns communal clash

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By George Odok
Calabar, Jan. 9, 2020 Elvert Ayambem, representing Ikom II State Constituency in the Cross River House of Assembly, has condemned the alleged killing of some youths in a communal clash between Nlul and Abankang communities in Ikom.

The crisis, which started on Jan. 5, allegedly claimed the lives of four persons in Abankang community while more than 40 houses were allegedly destroyed.

Ayambem, who urged the warring communities to embrace peace, told journalists in an interview on Saturday in Calabar that more than 40 houses were razed in Abankang community.

“I want to appeal to youths from various communities to drop their weapons and embrace peace. Violence can never attract development to any area where there is hostility. We need peace in our communities.

“The year is too fresh. At this point, we should be looking at ways of recovering our losses of 2019 that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ he said.

He said that the incident had been reported to the police for urgent intervention with a view to bringing the hostility to an end.

The lawmaker appealed to the Nigerian Army to also deploy soldiers to the area to calm the communities and also to prevent further attacks.

“Currently, I am working with the traditional leaders from both communities so that they can call their subjects to order for peace to reign.

“Whosoever is suspected to be the perpetrator of this act will be dealt with according to the law, notwithstanding his or her political, cultural or religious position,’’ he maintained.

Police Public Relations Officer in Cross River, DSP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the clash in a telephone interview with NAN.

“The police are aware of the incident and our men have been sent to the place to maintain peace and orderliness.

“It was also reported that some persons died during the clash, but I cannot confirm the exact figure to you now,’’ she said.

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