29th October, 2010
As the surviving victims of the recent Boje and Nsadop communal conflict in BokiÂ Local Government Area of Cross River State, South South Nigeria, continue to countÂ their losses, the state governor, Liyel Imoke has condemned the wanton killings andÂ imposed curfew in the area.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Patrick Ugbe, Imoke said the scale ofÂ destruction of farm crops and property as well as the needless loss of lives inÂ Nsadop was a shocking escalation of the dispute at hand and totally unacceptable toÂ his administration.
â€œThis administration, up to the last moment, had actively intervened by inviting theÂ leaders of the warring communities to amicably resolve the dispute and prevent thisÂ crisis from unfolding. Despite these and many other attempts, the communities stillÂ resorted to violence,â€ the governor said.
He ordered the immediate confiscation of the disputed land lying between Boje andÂ Nsadop and called on the Surveyor-General of the state to delineate the affectedÂ area.
He also ordered the imposition of an indefinite dusk to dawn curfew between 6.00Â p.m. to 6.00 a.m. in Boje, Nsadop and adjoining communities of Bansan and IsoÂ Bendeghe, with immediate effect.
He said a Judicial Panel of Inquiry would be set up with a view to determining theÂ remote and immediate causes of the conflict.
Meanwhile, the dead victims of the war were given a mass burial in the village ofÂ Nsadop on Wednesday amidst wailing by women of the three affected villeges afterÂ over 70 of the men were killed last Saturday during the battle.
The bodies were lowered into a mass grave dug at the centre of the town on WednesdayÂ by few of the remaining youths in Nsadop.
The bodies, which were used by the Boje combatants to mount road blocks along theirÂ common border with the Nsadop, were mangled and decapitated.
â€œThey (Boje) left the forest where the combat was going on and took a hidden routeÂ to our homes and began to destroy our houses. When we got wind of it and came fromÂ the forest, they laid ambush for us and killed us like rats,â€ a youth who gave hisÂ name as Christopher told P.M.NEWS.
According to him, the Boje combatants only selected men and left the women duringÂ the ‘massacre’. Every male, whether child, visitor, cripple, blind or mad was hackedÂ to death by the Boje people because they said they want to exterminate all of us,”Â he added.
â€”Emmanuel Una /Calabar