The residents of the Yache-Ijiegu community in the Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State has been gripped by fear following the expiration of the deadline given to them by soldiers whose colleague was killed in their community.
The soldiers had asked the residents to produce two youths alleged to have killed a soldier two weeks ago.
In an interview by the Crimes Channel with a local youth leader, Augustine Adula, said,
“We’ve been living in fear. The Army is insisting the community must bring to them the remaining two boys who allegedly killed the soldiers. But we haven’t seen them. We have lost several young men since July and 2023, when this clash resurged. Many boys have died of gunshot injuries.
“Soldiers took one boy away and closed down a medical facility called, “Life First Clinic” where he was receiving treatment”.
According to Adula, soldiers have interrogated many of their boys, but they insist they want to see the two particular boys.
Adula said, “Today is the deadline for the community of Ijiegu-Yache to produce the two boys or face soldiers’ attack.
“We are helplessly waiting for the soldiers to come and wipe us away,” he lamented.
An indigene of the community who is the education commissioner, Senator Stephen Odey, said he has spoken extensively with the Army authorities for the peaceful and amicable resolution of the crisis.
The commissioner said the Governors of Benue and Cross River States will soon speak on the deadly situation between the Tivs and Yache-Ijiegu for peace to be restored.
A visit to the community showed that the youths had fled the village for fear of the army attack.
One of the army officers stationed in Yache, who gave his name as Lt Hassan, said they came to restore peace between the two communities, but the youths had attacked and killed their men.
Credit: Crimes Channel