For most parts of yesterday and into the night, Ekori, a community in Yakurr LGA, Cross River Central, was a theatre of war as groups of youths supporting House of Representatives member, Bassey Eko Ewa, clashed with supporters of former CR Chief of Staff, Alex Egbona, in what one observer describes as “one of the bloodiest days in the history of Ekori”, www.calitown.com can report.
Trouble is believed to have started when Egbona, who is contesting the Yakurr/Abi Federal Constituency seat, travelled to Ekori, hoping to campaign in the community. Egbona’s convoy was prevented from entering Ekori by youths supporting Ewa. A source on Egbona’s entourage called www.calitown.com to say that, “…as we made to enter Ekori, we were greeted with an aggressive hail of stones, followed shortly by gunshots and we beat a retreat with our principal. Those of us from Ekori had to attempt entering there to find out what the problem was and what we got was not what we expected to see from our own community. I think these people supporting Bassey Ewa had prepared for this day even swearing that Alex Egbona will never campaign in Ekori and we had to run for our lives”.
While all of this was unfolding, Ewa’s supporters are thought to have gone around attacking supporters of Egbona, triggering a gun duel which held the community hostage and left a supporter of Ewa dead. Security agents have since been mobilised to the area with several arrests already made. Most of those injured in the clash have fled to neighbouring communities for treatment while the community is a ghost of itself.
Egbona and Ewa’s political confrontation dates back to the slapping of Egbona by Ewa in Ugep during an empowerment programme organised by Ewa where both individuals openly disagreed. Prominent individuals at the occasion stepped in and ensured that supporters of individuals do not go for each other’s throats. This recent development has again thrown up the volatile nature of the election for a position Ewa intends to occupy for a record third time. One observer is insisting that “what you see is the direct outcome of a faulty political process that has been foisted on us. The youths who support Ewa have the believe that their candidate is government’s candidate and so it must be enforced. You cannot blame them for thinking so, our governor is insisting that it must be Ewa or nobody and this is where I think Imoke is doing the Yakurr/Abi Federal Constituency a disservice. For as long as he feels Bassey Ewa is the only way to go, we will continue to see the kind of impunity displayed by these youths who can decide where Mr.A or B can or cannot campaign…it is unfortunate”.
Ewa’s camp is however insisting that, “…all of this situation was set up by Alex Egbona to give Bassey Ewa a bad name. Do not forget that his supporters tore and burnt Ewa’s billboards in Ugep and we took it calmly, the attack in Ekori was started by his supporters and he need to be asked why he is doing this. Is the House of Reps seat a must go for him?”, the anonymous source concluded.
Vote MIKE ETABA, PDP, for Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency, CRS
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