By Charles Nwabardi

 

Tragedy struck in the Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State as a bishop and historian were murdered in a renewed communal clash in the locality.

Baise is the local government of origin to the state deputy governor, Professor Ivara Esu.

The murder is in the heat of the inter-communal conflict between Abanwan and Urugbam in Erei clan.

The bishop was burnt alive and his son beheaded in a renewed communal war involving the two communities.

Sources from the communities who spoke on strict conditions of anonymity said that the bishop was ambushed alongside his son on a motorbike on their way from Abanwan community to nearby Afikpo in Ebonyi State.

The Erei communities have over the years been at loggerheads over a piece of land that was established by the defunct Eastern Region before the Nigerian Civil War as Oil Palm Plantation Settlement.

The settlement was handed over to the Cross River State Government shortly after the Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970, given that the location is in the state.

However, the Erei community, where the oil palm plantation is located, has 10 villages, who now scramble for ownership.

Meanwhile, as at the time of this report, the Army Spokesman from 13 Brigade Army Headquarters Calabar, has confirmed the mobilization of troops into the Abanwan and Urugbam area, to douse the tension.

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