The Erei communities in Biase Local Council of Cross River State have petitioned the state government raising fears of possible annihilation from their neighbours in Ebonyi State.
For months, the people of Urugbam Erei in Biase Local Council had been in constant communal clashes with their Ekoli Edda neighbours in Afikpo South Local Council of Ebonyi State leading to loss of lives and property worth millions of naira. In a statement at the weekend by the Erei Renaissance Initiative and credited to its Chairman, Pastor John Usang, the communities accused the Afikpo people of fuelling the crisis using their state powers and their surrogates from Urugbam Erei to annihilate and annex Erei communities in Cross River State, and “the government of Cross River seems reluctant to put an end to the lingering crisis.”
They said the leaders of Afikpo South Local Council of Ebonyi State and their cohorts “for the umpteenth times have attacked the defenceless and innocent communities of Erei with a view to exterminating the people, own and occupy their land.
Also, they alleged that it is a known fact that this decision to subjugate and annex the Erei nation of the Cross River State, a minority nationality, by the Afikpo South Local Council, is not without the support of the Government of Ebonyi State and their supporters in Ekoli who are “known to be in possession of some of the arms allegedly abandoned by MASSOB when they were flushed out by Nigerian Armed Forces from their last base in Ekoli Edda of Afikpo South Local Council of Ebonyi State in 2010.
“It is our studied and candid opinion that the government of Cross River State has all it takes to defend the defenceless Erei people of Cross River State from the senseless onslaught of Afikpo South Local Council and the government of Ebonyi State to forestall these acts of lawlessness and breaches of public peace and also for the state government to urgently come to the defence of the Erei nation to forestall further planned attacks,” the statement said.
The Cross River State government had recently denied doing nothing about the attack.It said Governor Ben Ayade had called for the Nigerian Air Force intervention in communal clashes in Ukelle and other communities of the state with their Ebonyi counterparts.
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