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Youths manhandle bishop, clan head over alleged deaths in community

Youths in Ekpokpa, Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State recently subjected their clan’s head and chairman of Ofutop Traditional Rulers Council, HRH Bishop…

Youths in Ekpokpa, Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State recently subjected their clan’s head and chairman of Ofutop Traditional Rulers Council, HRH Bishop Ntun Bassey Okey to series of torture for allegedly being behind the rising deaths of youths in the area.

Similarly, another village head, Ntun Ayan Ekum and other prominent persons of the clan were also subjected to the same treatment.

Eyewitnesses told Niger Delta Trust that both victims suffered severe burns, especially Bishop Okey who is now lying critically ill at a Catholic hospital in Ikom.

Findings by our correspondent showed that the elderly persons were accused of not doing anything “to  foresee and  forestall alleged ‘suspicious and incessant premature deaths of younger persons in the clan’’.

The youths were particularly irked by the recent death of one Osim Ebuk Obim, a.k.a. Egbede.

Explaining the incident at his hospital bed, Bishop Okey’s son, Bassey Junior said: “It all started on the 29th of October 2020,  when a young man called Osim Ebak  was involved in a fatal motor accident and later died in the hospital.

“On Saturday, the 31st day of October 2020, at about 11 pm  when the clan head was already fast asleep in his room with his wife, some hoodlums broke into his room after breaking all the doors.

“The team leader was shouting at my dad, the clan head to come out from the room and follow them.

“When he enquired to know his fault they pounced on him and gave him the worst beating of his life using knives, clubs and guns, and dragged him to the village square.

“Meanwhile, his wife, my mum, raised the alarm but family members were all threatened with death.  One litre of fuel was emptied on him.”

Niger Delta Trust further reports that the youths informed the royal fathers that their anger was because  of the frequent deaths of the younger generation in the community compared to the adults.

They said it was also the responsibility of the royal fathers to know when anybody was about to die in the village.

According to the youths, they anchored this on the fact that a lot of the premature deaths of the youths were suspicious and that  as traditional rulers, they should be aware of such developments.

One of the youths, who simply gave his name as Ekok said they were tired of suspicious deaths of their age-grade members, which they suspected could be traced to the chiefs.

“Why is it that it is mostly the youths that have been dying instead of the adults?  They have fortified themselves. They have refused to carry out traditional rites to know and stop what is killing the younger generation everyday instead of them.”

However, some traditional chiefs of the clan told our correspondent  that they would seek redress in court.

“We will not accept such grave threat and unwholesome harassment.”

The councillor  representing  Ofutop ward 1, Ndifon Ekok Ojogi urged all parties to abide by the amicable resolutions reached at a peace meeting.

The state police PRO, Irene Ugbo said the command was aware of the incident and has intervened in the matter.