Ogoja In Tumult: 2 Feared Dead, As Youths Clash With Police

IGPnew 600By Raphael Ekpang

Ogoja, the ancient city of the northern Cross River State, was on Wednesday engulfed in a tumult which has left two dead and many injured as well as properties worth millions of naira destroyed. The misunderstanding which started at the early hours of Wednesday has so far snowballed into a full blown crisis between the police and the youths of Ishibori community in Ogoja Local Government Council over the alleged killing of a young lady by the police at the latter hours of the day.
At the early hours of Wednesday, October 16, residents of Nduk three corners community were said to have resisted the arrest of their village head by men of the police force from the Criminal Investigative Department, CID who stormed the chief’s compound from Calabar at the early hours of the said day to effect his arrest over a land dispute within the community, but met with a stiff opposition by the youths of the community.
An eye witness who was at the scene of the event told Newsdiaryonline in a telephone chat that, when the residents got the information that police officers had come to arrest their village head, they all came out trying to prevent the police from arresting him and in the process, a police officer allegedly shot one of their members on his leg to scare others, but they resisted and eventually another youth was shot dead.
A police source said, Nduk three corners were embroil in a land dispute over a period of time now, and when men of the CID stormed the community to arrest the village head who was alleged as the arrow head in the dispute, the youths attacked the police officers. And later in the day the same youths brought the corpse of an allegedly slain youth and dumped at the police station, and proceeded to mount road block at the Monaya Hospital road that lead to Ishibori town.
According to him, when the police where informed of the situation, a team of armed police men were deployed to the area to disperse the angry youths and restore peace, but met another stiff opposition and in the process, a young Ishibori’s girl who was passing by was hit by a stray bullet and died at the instant. The incident according to the an eye witness account infuriated the youths and they took to the streets; ransacking and destroying police officers’ properties.
Sergeant Ben Okoli in a telephone chat told Newsdiaryonline that his properties worth thousands of naira were burnt to ashes by the angry youths who invaded his compound while he was still at work.
In his words, “My brother, I thank God my family and I are alive. The properties I labored over the years to acquire was destroyed within a twinkle of an eye for a cause I have nothing to do with. Is it a sin to become a Nigeria police officer?” he queried.
At the time of filing in this report, the divisional police officer of the affected station was unreachable as well as the Public Relations Officer of Ogoja Area Command.

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