At least 10 people have been reported dead in a fresh attack by headsmen in Obio Usiere in Eniong Abatim, Odukapni Local Government Area of Cross River State. Last week Tuesday, one Etim Okon and another unidentified person were reportedly killed in the area by herdsmen, however, gathered that eight other people were reportedly killed at the weekend, bringing the death toll to 10.
Narrating the sad incident to newsmen on Saturday, the head of Obio Usiere community, Apostle Iya Effiong Orok said it was discovered that eight more persons were killed during the renewed attacks by the herdsmen.
He said the corpses of the two earlier killed were recovered immediately after the first attack.
The traditional ruler said many residents had fled the community for fear of another attack.
“We have lost at least 10 people in this attack by Fulani herdsmen. They normally come during the dry season with their cattle to our area, the same incident occurred last Tuesday when two people were shot dead. Now it’s 10 people.”
“As I speak with you, Obio Usiere has been deserted; our women are afraid to go to their farms because they would be raped in the bush. These people are heavily armed and we are just helpless.
“We have reported the matter to the police, DSS and other security agencies, and we are using this opportunity to call on Governor Ben Ayade to help us, because about 3,500 people are now homeless. We have become refugees in our own land.
“It is true that some policemen were sent here but the shortfall in logistics is a big challenge; we are afraid to go back to our ancestral home because we know what is happening in Enugu, Delta and Benue states, and we don’t like shedding blood on our land. It is a taboo for an Efik man to take up arms,” he stated.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo confirmed the incident but said only one person was killed.
“Our men are on ground 24 hours and we are not aware of any other killing, the rise in the death toll has not been reported to us. As I speak with you, and we are not leaving the place, even before the incident we have been on ground” she said.