An alleged beheading of a young man by a chief hunter, purportedly for the burial ceremony of a high chief, weekend, led to hostilities between two neighbouring communities in Obubra Local Government Area of Cross River State, which has left over 10 people dead and many houses razed.
The conflict between the people of Ogwurude and their Oyidah neighbours began when head hunters from Oyidah community allegedly harvested the head of a young man which they intended to use in the burial ceremony of a chief.
A resident, Clement Ekpe, said: “Some head hunters chased the okada boy, who was returning from Oyidah Market with a lady and caught up with him at Ogwurude Junction. They asked the lady to run into the bush, killed the boy and cut off his head. “When the lady got home and narrated what happened, some Ogwurude youths rushed to the junction, where they found the headless body of the young man. They followed the bloodstains on the road to Oyidah community.
“They informed Oyidah’s Village Head about the incident and asked that those who carried out the act be brought out and handed over to the police. “However, the Village Head could not produce the perpetrators and that led to a reprisal attack that night from the Ogwurude people.”
Another source, who could not confirm the exact number of people killed in Oyidah, said as many as seven people died, but that two persons from Ogwurude were killed in the fracas, while many houses were set ablaze in both communities.
Mr. Jude Ngaji, Cross River State Security Adviser, said peace had returned to the feuding communities with security operatives deployed to the area, while efforts are on to hold meetings with leaders of both communities to find lasting solution to the conflict.