From JUDEX OKORO, Calabar
Three persons have been reportedly killed and 18 houses burnt over the struggle for the village headship of Ofodua-Adun community in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State.Besides, over 30 persons were said to have sustained injuries with their property destroyed just as farm lands and crops worth hundreds of thousands of naira were destroyed.Daily Sun checks revealed that the two communities of Iva Egbe and Iva Egba of Ofodua Adun had been locked in a succession battle in the last three decades leading to alleged incessant attacks on Iva Egbe by Iva Egba natives.While the Iva Egbe paternal royal family among the other four traditional families claimed to be vested with the exclusive right to produce the village head, the Iva Egba and three communities of Iva Enang, Iva Obeten and Iva Awonokwe , were insisting on rotation of the Ofodua traditional political organization.This development had pitched the warring communities against each other as well as sowing seed of discord and disharmony between the hitherto two communities.It was learnt that the battle over who would take over the traditional stool got to a climax penultimate month when the Iva Egba, Iva Enang, Iva Obeten and Iva Awonokwe communities allegedly invaded the farm lands of the Iva Egbe family members, destroyed their crops and attacked the people physically.
The invaders later moved from the farm land to the village and attacked Egbe family members killing three in the process and pulled down over 18 houses just as over 30 persons were wounded.In a petition addressed to the state police commissioner and made available to Daily Sun, Iva Egbe traditional leaders decried the incessant attacks on their families because they had refused to let go their traditional inheritance.In the petition dated December 6, 2013 and signed by Ovarr Ignatius Egba, Felix Abeng and Patrick Abeng Egbe, the community said the latest attack was an ethnic cleansing sort of and wanted government to intervene in the crisis.Speaking on the crisis, one of the youth leaders, Sunday Attan, said: “We have suffered in the last three years in the hands of our brothers from Iva Egba because of village head. Look at me now; I have lost everything I laboured for years to build. What are we struggling for and for how much?”When Daily Sun visited the state police command at Diamond Hill, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Hogan Bassey, was not around for comment, but an officer in his office, said: “It is true that Ofodua community in Obubra local government has reported to us and the command is still investigating.