Several persons have been reported missing and many houses burnt down in a renewed boundary clash between the people of Oku Iboku and Ikot Offiong in Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State and Odukpani local government area of Cross River State.
The renewed communal clash, which occurred on Tuesday, has been ongoing for over 30 years and is over the control of a piece of land.
The fight has led to the death of many people and the destruction of property in both communities.
A source told Daily Trust that in the renewed hostilities, the assailants, said to be from one of the communities stormed the Oku Iboku beach in two speed boats and opened fire on the people who scampered for safety.
“Earlier today, Cross River State mercenaries from lkot Offiong finally invaded Oku lboku beach, and succeeded in setting few shops and houses ablaze.
“The assailants came loaded in two 75-horsepower speedboats, they engaged in a 25-minutes gun battle with the military at the check point.
“The calibre of weapons used by these assailants forced the people to flee for their dear lives, although the military officers were also equipped with machine guns.
“But they confirmed that the MG used by these assailants were more sophisticated.
“As we speak, the security situation in our community is not safe,” the source said.
The Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko Macdon confirmed the attack saying it has been brought under control.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, has mandated the Divisional Police Officer in Itu Division, CSP Celestine Ude, to carry out an assessment of the situation and report back to him.
He explained that some houses were affected but that he would not be able to give detailed information about what happened until the DPO gives him first-hand information.
“We have received a preliminary report about the renewed crisis; no life has been reported lost. We are still awaiting more discreet situational report because the CP, has ordered the DPO of Itu LGA division to proceed and give him first hand information about the crisis.
“For now, the situation there is under control, there is no cause for alarm. It’s only when the DPO comes back that we can get a comprehensive report.
“I hear that some houses were ransacked and some shops were burnt, but we are yet to get more information about what really transpired,” he stated.