The palace of Chief Edward Osim, Paramount Ruler of Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State and father-in-law to former President Goodluck Jonathan has been razed in a communal clash. Also razed are the houses of other members of Usumutong community by their Ebom neighbors in a communal conflict which was still ongoing at press time.
A local journalist based in the area, Mr. Johnson Ege, who noted that the communities had been in conflict before now, said the latest crisis was one of the outcomes of the last Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primary election for the House of Representatives seat in Abi/Yakur Federal Constituency.
Jonathan’s son-in-law, Mr. Prince Edward, emerged the party’s candidate.
However, Ege said: “One person was allegedly abducted and killed by the Ebom people after an Usumutong youth tried to attack an Ebom commercial motorcyclist and his passengers. The communities have been at war since then.’’
He said the latest conflict started on Wednesday night when the people of Ebom allegedly stormed Usumutong community and set homes ablaze and killed many people.
“More than one thousand refugees from Usumutong are now taking refuge in the palace of the Obol Lopol, the King of Ugep.’’
He said he could not ascertain the number of casualties, adding that some of those who escaped to Ugep were gunned down while some could not make it.
Police Public Relations Officer for the Cross River Police Command, Irene Ugbo said the police were sending more anti-riot policemen to the area.