Monarch palace destroyed in the early morning attack by youths and cultists
Six persons were on Monday feared dead and over 21 houses razed following an early morning invasion of New Netim community by youths and suspected cult members from neigbouring Odukpani Qua town in Cross River State.
The palace and house of the village head, Ntufam Raphael Okpa Ita, were also torched.
Although the ruler said one person died but unconfirmed sources put the death toll at six.
“We have not seen five of our people except this one dead body. We are afraid they have been killed or taken captive,” they said.
The community was also attacked last December allegedly by same neighbours, losing two lives.
A witness said: “The Odukpani Qua town people came at about 1:00 a.m. and started shooting anyhow and burning down houses.
“People had to run for their lives but one person from New Netim was killed and many others injured. As you can see, my house has been burnt down and I am running to Calabar for safety.”
The immediate cause of the attack was not immediately known, but it was gathered that the crisis was an offshoot of a long-standing land dispute.
A senior government official in the current administration is being accused as an arrowhead in the crisis.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the incident, said: “Some of our personnel have been sent to that place and for now the area is very calm. No arrest has been made yet.”
Although she could not confirm the casualty figure, Ugbo, however, stated that “it was reported that some houses were burnt but we don’t know the number and the cause is land dispute.”