By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
About 10 people are feared dead while several others wounded as a group suspected to be herdsmen attacked a riverine community in Cross River.
The suspected herdsmen had carried the attack on Obio Usiere in Eniong Abati in Odukpani Local Government Area.
This is not the first time herdsmen had invaded and killed several people in Eniong Abati community, the New Nigerian Newspapers Online can authoritatively report
This ugly incidence had become a re occurrence especially at this time of the year when farmers along the riverine communities had commence early farming before the submerging of the area during rainy season.
The New Nigerian gathered that one Etim Okon and another unidentified person were both killed few day ago before the current massacre in the village.
According to an eyewitness account the death toll increased in the last few days bringing the number of dead people to 10 as at the time of filling this report.
Confirming the attack to newsmen, the Village Head of Obio Usiere , Apostle Iya Effiong Orok, said they discovered that eight more persons were killed during different attacks.
He said “the two people earlier reported by some national dailies were just people whose bodies were recovered immediately as at the time of the first attack”.
“We have lost nothing less than 10 people in this recent deadly attack by Fulani herdsmen. They normally come during the dry season to feed their cattle in our farms. The same incident occurred two years ago when two people were shot dead, now its 10 people”.
In answer to a question he said “as I speak to you, Obio Usiere has been deserted. Our women and children are afraid to go to their farms for fear of been raped”.
He alleges that “these people are heavily armed and we are just helpless..We have reported to both Police, DSS and other security agencies and we are using this opportunity to call on ,governor Ben Ayade to help us because about 3,500 people are now homeless. we have become refugees in our own land”.
He said “it is true that some police men were sent here but the shortfall in logistics is a big challenge. We are afraid to go back to our ancestral home because we know what is happening in Enugu, Delta, Benue and we don’t like shedding blood on our land. It is a taboo for an Efik man to take up arms, he added”.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the incidence said, she was aware of the attack and that only one person was reportedly killed.
The police authority had since deployed our officers and men to the affected area to avert re- occurence, she added.