Scores of persons have abandoned their homes in Mbiabong Ito community in Ito South clan, Odukpani Local Government Area, Cross River State, following the invasion of the community by suspected Fulani herdsmen, who drove a large herd of cows into the community’s farmlands. The herdsmen are believed to have forcefully resisted attempts by the villagers to deny them access to land for grazing.
Gunshots rent the air, late yesterday evening and sources on the ground told www.calitown.com that the villagers had to take to the bush when it became obvious that the suspected herdsmen had more sophisticated weapons. “… good evening, please I just had a call from my community, Mbiabong Ito in Odukpani LGA that Fulani herdsmen have invaded the community with their cows. They say there are in the bush right now because of the fear of herdsmen”, Ndem Effiong, an indigene of the area, wrote in a text message to www.calitown.com
Bassey Bassey, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of Odukpani LGA, on the line from thte area, confirmed the incident and added that he was on his way to the area to assess the situation. “You have to understand that it will take a while before I can authoritatively give you information on the situation in the area. Getting to the area is a challenge as we will have to either travel to Akwa Ibom first before linking up to the place. The other option is through the river in Itu, but if you call back later in the evening, I am sure we will be able to tell you what we have seen”, the DPO said. Police authorities in Calabar are believed to have instructed Bassey to bring the situation under control.
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