The Nigerian army and some security operatives assigned to the Calabar/Itu boundary along Cross River and Akwa Ibom States have halted suspected attackers from entering Ikot Offiong in Odukpani area of the state.
Concise News learned that the suspects, who carried arms and other ammunition, were alleged to have come from Itu area of Akwa Ibom.
An eyewitness who sought anonymity claimed that the suspected warlords assembled at Itu and marched towards the bridgehead with the aim of attacking their perceived enemies in Ikot Offiong community.
The eyewitness said, “The suspected Warlords gathered in the early hours (2-3am) of Saturday with a view to launching an attack on the people of Ikot Offiong in Odukpani local government area of Cross River but the military stopped them from crossing.
“We are very grateful to the military and other security agencies. Already, more than eight persons are feared dead, while property worth several millions of naira have been destroyed in the renewed communal clash which started on Wednesday.”
Also, a source alleged that the people in the area got the hint of the attack and swiftly alerted the military who responded quickly.
The source stated, “We also prepared ourselves since the area is now a war front. These people have burnt down our houses and killed our people. This thing did not start today and we don’t know when it will stop or end.”
Reacting to the incident, the State Security Adviser (SSA) to Governor Ben Ayade complained about the crisis in the community and said, “When we got information that the suspected warlords have gathered under the bridge, we alerted the military and they responded swiftly.
“The Warriors have been repelled, we are monitoring the situation. Let me advise the warring communities to give peace a chance. What do we achieve when we burn our houses, destroy our farmlands and kill our people?”