By Wisdom Nwedene
At least, 80 persons have lost their lives in a renewed crisis in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State.
9news Nigeria gathered that hundreds of women and children have also been displaced by the violence which broke out in Urugbam, Egbor, Ipene, and Abanwan, four of the 10 communities that make up Erei clan.
Speaking with 9news Nigeria correspondent in Abakaliki, Bishop Frank Owali revealed that he abandoned his community and ran to Ebonyi State because of the crisis.
He also revealed that gunmen wanted to assassinate him 3 times.
According to him, trouble started on the 18th of March, 2018, when the Egbor sent emissaries to Urugbam warning them to stay clear from their land, pointing that they have leased the land to African Stone Ltd.
9news Nigeria gathered the land belonged to Urugbam and Egbor communities, but was leased out by the Egbor community to African Stone Works Ltd., allegedly without the consent of the Urugbam and other communities that have been a part of the cultivation for over 45 years.
In his words,
“My life is at risk and I can’t visit my community again, Urugbam because of the crisis. Gunmen have tried to assassinate me three times but I thank God I escaped the attackers “.
” As I speak with you right now, at least 80 persons have been killed, many were beheaded while others were injured”.
“Many houses were burnt down and our sons and daughters have been displaced because of the crisis. ”
” We plead with the Federal Government to look into this issue because lives are being lost every day”, he said.
As at the time of writing this report, effort by 9news correspondent to get Cross River State Police Command to speak on the crisis proved abortive.