Over 200 Killed In Renewed Communal Crisis As Soldiers Withdraw Over Unpaid Allowances

Over 200 people are reportedly killed, as three more communities are razed in Erei, over land disputes in Biase LGA of Cross River State, by militants, after Nigerian Army & other security agencies withdrew their services over Governor Ayade’s inability to fund or at least support security efforts in the state with the high crime rate and militancy.

As at the time of filing this report, dozens of dead bodies and injured victims, including pregnant women, children and elderly people are littered in bushes within and around Edu, Afono and Urugbam communities, after hired militants by neighbouring communities overran the communities with AK-74 machine guns, dynamites and other dangerous weapons, before burning down every single structure on sight.

We call on those who have what it takes to prevail on Governor Ayade to urgently and immediately deploy Security Agencies to rescue of the helpless people of Erei, as all calls, SMS, WhatsApp, mails and visits to the Governor and his security aides have yielded no results.

The displaced Erei people are currently in neighbouring communities of Unwana in Afikpo North LGA of Ebonyi state, Amangwu and Okon Ohafia, both in Ohafia LGA of Abia State, where they are going excruciating humanitarian crisis, as all efforts to get the government of Cross River state to even pay a visit to the displaced proved abortive.

Credible information has it that the Governor owes security agencies in the state 13-18 months allowances in arrears, and finally wrote the Nigerian Army to withdrawal their services across the state and leave him with only 25 soldiers to guard him and his immediate family when they protested to the governor to pay their backlog of allowances.

Since the withdrawal of soldiers across the state on the 3rd of May 2020, close to a thousand people have been murdered, including cult-related clashes and renewed communal clashes in about 13 out of the 18 LGAs in Cross River State.

Governor Ayade is rather spending so much time and millions of naira on live TV shows to deceive gullible Nigerians, especially those outside Cross River state who know little or nothing about his grand fraud and failure as governor.

Ayade would rather pay media houses and bloggers millions not to report the daily killings going on unabated across the length and breadth of the state.

Available records show that Governor Ayade receives an average of N500 million monthly or N7 billion annually as security votes, yet finds it difficult to release up to N10 million monthly to support security efforts in the state.

We hereby remind President Muhammad Buhari, who had issued a statement on the crisis in Erei when Urugbam community was first attacked and dozens killed in December 2018, asking the Governor to wade in and resolve the crisis, that the Governor has not visited the scene of the incident since then, not to talk of sending a cup of garri, carton of indomie or a toilet roll, as relief materials – till date.

We call on Nigeria’s National Assembly, the Cross River State House of Assembly as well as Cross River State Leaders of Thought, to prevail on Governor Ayade to rise up to the security challenges in the state, as the Chief Executive as well as Chief Security Officer of state.

We wish to express our disappointment to the political leaders representing the Erei Nation and Biase LGA at the state and national level: Hon. Ogbor Ogbor Odop – representing Biase at the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Daniel Asuquo – representing Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency, Senator Gershom Bassey – representing Cross River South Senatorial Districts. These leaders have made themselves unavailable from the inception of the crisis in Biase LGA, which has consumed hundreds of lives and properties worth over a billion naira.

Finally, we call on management and publishers of media outfits with presence in Cross River state to caution their reporters and representatives against receiving gifts in kind cash from Governor Ayade, in order not to report the high rate of poverty, crimes, killings and stealing of public funds going on in the paradise state of Cross River, especially Channels TV which is now known and called “Ayade TV” in Cross River.

Signed for Erei Arise Forum:
Onun Ukam Elot, President-general,
Ogban Ikor, Secretary.

“Erei Arise Forum” is a Socioeconomic Development Forum with a mandate to promote peaceful coexistence, love and progress amongst the 10 communities of Erei North and South wards in Biase LGA of Cross River State.

Kindly find attached confirmed photos of the Crisis: 2018 and the ongoing one.

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