Wanikade and Wanihem communities are neighbouring brothers in North Ukele, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State. There share they same an...
Wanikade and Wanihem communities are neighbouring brothers in North Ukele, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.
There share they same ancestral lineage and have virtually everything in common, living together harmoniously for ages as brothers until last week when hell was let loose.
they engaged on one another in a bloody war over a disputed piece of land. And the controversy, estimating more than six 6 persons had being kill and 15 persons sustained bullet wounds while about 14 houses and market were razed In all, property worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
The Oyobo village in Wanikade and Ihetezi neighbouring village of Wanihem is said to have arisen in a fight about a dispute of farmland lying between the two communities. The crisis,
According to the sources, from the villag the disputed land between Wanikade people, and Wanihem villages reportedly went to war. This expectedly led to the displacement of hundreds of people including women and children.
When The Authority visited the war-ravaged communities amid tight security, relics of the massive destruction of property stood as signposts of the magnitude of the crisis. Yam barns, heaps of bags of rice, garri as well as economic trees were set ablaze, while other household property such as sewing machines, bicycles, and motorcycles, among others, were massively destroyed. Livestock like goats, dogs etc were killed in their numbers. As if that was not enough, even sources of their drinking water like streams and wells were polluted and poisoned with acid and other dangerous chemicals.
Chief Christopher whose property were also destroyed told The Authority in an interview that the attackers came on that faithful Saturday at about 3pm when most of the villagers were in the community market, about one and a half kilometres away, and unleashed veryone.
According to him, those who dared to challenge the invaders were shot and wounded while the children and elderly managed to scamper for safety into nearby forest and bushes around.
Christopher described the war as barbaric, he stated it is unfortunate that this was happening between the two communities which had lived in peace, intermarried and have many children from both sides.
A man who identified as Chief Benedict, one of the village heads, corroborated the story of the invasion of men from Wanihem, saying the ‘unruly’ behaviour of the invaders would leave indelible marks in the memories of victims for a long time to come.
A youth leader, Mathias Egede who condemned the act appealed to security agents to bring the perpetrators to book.
A woman activist, Helen John who spoke with our reporter via a telephone from her hideout said it was sad that their children who were born into both communities would grow up with this mentality of war among brothers.
She said“And you can be sure what negative impression this act has left in the minds of our children on either side,”
Helen urged leaders of the warring communities to sheath their sword and resolve the matter in the shortest possible time.
But for the quick intervention of security operatives, the face-off would have claimed lives. Those with varying degrees of bullet wounds are, however, recuperating in various hospitals in the local government area.
The police public relations officer, Cross River State Command, ASP John Eluu stated that the situation had been brought under control at the time of this report, adding that stakeholders in the communities had already set in motion machinery to broker peace among themselves.