Yoruba, Akwa Ibom community clash leave 10 dead, Govt imposes curfew
By Bade Aremu
A clash between Yoruba residents in an Akwa Ibom State and their Ibeno host community has left no fewer than 10 people dead. Some of the victims are Yoruba and Ibeno indigenes.
On Friday, the Ibeno Local Government chairman, Chief Henry Mkpa, imposed a curfew asking residents to say at home from 7pm to 6am
Violence erupted between the two few days ago. Local sources put the number of deaths at 10. Police were yet to release figures of deaths and the wounded as at press time.
Irohinoodua correspondent in Uyo reported that the clash was over land matters. A local administrator, Fred Ukpon said land was given in lease to some Yoruba people and that the indigenous owners fail to live to their part of the Memorandum of Understanding, MOU
In a statement on Friday morning signed by South South Regional Coordinator of Apapo Oodua Koya, (AOKOYA) Deji Asekunowo, the group expressed worry about the unprovoked killings of Yoruba people in Ibeto community.
“We are concerned about the killings of Yoruba by some people in Ibeto community. We do not want to provoke reprisal attacks, or targets of Akwa Ibom assets in the South West unless the carnage continues.”
The group said ” A clash between Yoruba and any ethnic group in the South or Middle Belt is not what we want at this time. This should not however stop the Yoruba people from defending their people anywhere they are.”
Asekunowo said the people of Akwa Ibom and Yoruba have a long shared history of migration and even intermarriage, adding that the state Governor must rise to the occasion to prevent excalation of the killings.
The Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr Melford Asuquo in a statement made available to Irohinoodua warned that anyone apprehended during the curfew period would be prosecuted.
“Following the violent clash between the Yoruba community and indigenes of Mkpanak group of communities in Ibeno council area, which has resulted in the loss of lives and properties, the executive chairman of Ibeno Local Government Area has declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew from 7:00 p.m. till 6:00 a.m. with immediate effect till further notice.” the statement read.
He said further
“Sequel to the above, human and vehicular movements are prohibited in any part of the local government, while security agencies have been put on alert to strictly enforce this order, and anyone found during these hours will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.”