The village head of Eko-Odoso community in Bacoco Qua Clan, Calabar municipality, His Highness Effiom Etim Edet Omin, has decried incessant attacks on residents of the community by suspected cultists.
Speaking with Community News in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, Chief Omin said issues relating to land speculation have led to the emergence of gun-wielding men in the community, who unleash terror on their victims.
The traditional ruler, who said he was recently attacked by cultists in his country home, appealed to the government to come to the rescue of residents of the community.
He said last month, suspected cultists allegedly sponsored by some chiefs from a neighbouring community, invaded his house at 5.30 a.m. and attempted to kill him.
He alleged that the chiefs had been using cultists to scare people, in order to unlawfully take permission of lands belonging to Eko-Odoso community.
Chief Omin said that already, lands worth about N200 million had been illegally sold by the chiefs.
He said: “A few weeks ago, I heard gunshots around 5.30 in the morning around my house. I rushed out to see where the gunshots were coming from. When I went there I saw some boys who were heavily armed. I rushed into my car to go to the police station to report what was happening, but they blocked me, they didn’t allow me to move, they cut my hand with their matchete while I was trying to move the car. They also struggled to take the steering from me but as soon as I moved the vehicle, they fled.
“How can you leave your own community to come and fight for land in another community?”
According to him, the attacks started in 2012, adding that he had earlier informed the police and other security agencies but nothing was done.
Chief Omin added that the activities of cultists had paralysed economic activities in the community.
He said shop owners and other businessmen now close as early as 7 p.m. for fear of being attacked and robbed.
He, however, called on the divisional police officer in the federal housing area to mount surveillance in the community, adding that the community is in dire need of police presence.