President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over reports of violence in four communities in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State resulting in loss of lives, injuries and displacement of villagers.
Calling for calm and restoration of peace in the affected communities bordering Abia State, the president urged the people of the areas to allow law and order to prevail.
“Our communities must be ready to live together in peace since no development can take place in an atmosphere of recurring violence,” he said.
President Buhari, who commended the state government for the steps taken so far towards bringing peace to the areas, also lauded the state police command for speedily mobilising its personnel to the affected communities to contain the crisis.
He urged all stakeholders to cooperate and ensure that lasting peace returned to the affected areas.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported the violence which is said to have resulted in dozens of deaths.
Hundreds of women and children have also been displaced by the violence which broke out on Monday in Urugbam, Egbor, Ipene, and Abanwan, four of the 10 communities that make up Erei clan, which predominantly occupies the southwestern tip of Cross River near the border with Abia State.
An indigene traced the violence to the sale of a parcel of land, used to cultivate palm fruits since 1973. The land reportedly belonged to Urugbam and Egbor communities, but was leased out by the Egbor community to African Stone Works Ltd., allegedly without the consent of the Urugbam and other communities that have been a part of the cultivation for over 45 years.
The Cross River police commissioner, Hafiz Inuwa, told PREMIUM TIMES a deadly clash broke out in the communities, but said officers have been deployed to quell it.
“We have sent our men from divisions and area commands to the communities,” Mr Inuwa said by telephone Tuesday morning.