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How Clan Head imported gun supplier from North to incite communal crisis in Cross River

A gun supplier from Taraba State, Northern part of Nigeria, Mr James Musa, has been arrested in Ebom Community of Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State with heavy arms.

CONVERSEER learned that Musa was arrested by operatives from the office of Senior Special Adviser on Security to Governor Bassey Edet Otu following a petition written by a team of lawyers from Obono Obono and Associates chambers.

The lawyers who are solicitors to Ebijakara community which has been devastated during their hostility with Ebom community in same LGA had complained about gun-running activities of certain elements allegedly sponsored and financed by the Clan Head and Village Heads of Ebom community.

According to Apex News Exclusive, Musa was arrested with large quantities of powerful and sophisticated guns on 11th June 2024 at Ebom Community.

On interrogation, James Musa confessed that he was recruited and paid by one Solomon Christian Okori from the Ebom community with support from the clan head.

The lawyers have further petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Dr Kayode Egbetokun to investigate Solomon Christian Okori and the clan head of Ebom community over the alleged gunrunning and sponsorship of the intermittent communal skirmishes between their community and neighbouring Ebijakara people.

In their petition dated 17th June 2024, they said the probe may prove a clue to the incident of January 2006 and the continued instability that has engulfed the region which has triggered intermittent communal violence and hostilities that have defied Government intervention ever since.

It is alleged that in January 2006, the Ebom people recruited, financed, and deployed a militia force armed with lethal and sophisticated weaponry, including dynamite and assault rifles with which they stormed and launched an assault on Ebijakara community.

According to sources, all houses in Ebijakara community were bombed and levelled to the ground, resulting in the thriving community of Ebijakara on the bank of the Cross River being expelled by the attackers.

Ever since, they have been internally displaced in neighbouring communities of Usumutong, Ediba, Ugep, Biase and Calabar.


Checks confirmed that the militia force is still occupying the ruins of Ebijakara and has also allegedly seized the surrounding lands belonging to Ebijakara.

Sources said the Ebom people have vowed that Ebijakara people shall never be allowed to return to their ancestral homelands.

According to media reports, more than 1000 people from both sides were said to have been murdered, Ebijakara having the higher figures.
In their petition, the lawyers disclosed that Cross River State Government set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by The Honorable Justice S. Obi (as he then was) to probe the remote and immediate causes of the carnage and violence, leading to the government issuing a white paper, which has not been implemented.

The lawyers frowned at the government’s attitudes, describing it as “ambivalent and lukewarm”.

According to them, the attitude has further emboldened the Ebom community.

Reacting on behalf of Ebom community, Prof. Bassey Eyo of the Department of Accountancy, University of Calabar, said, “The arrest of the gun runner in Ebom community has nothing to do with the unfortunate event between Ebom and Ebijakara communities which occurred since 11th January 2006.

“For Obono Obono & Associates Law firm, they have always been filing and representing Ebijakara community in all the previous court cases which they have never won.

“The governments of Mr Donald Duke up to Prof. Ben Ayade, including Senator Liyel Imoke who is from Abi LGA as well as all Abi LGA chairmen since 2006 are fully aware of the true story in both communities.”

Also speaking, member representing Abi State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) David Etta, who, too, hails from Ebom, said “I don’t know anything about gunrunning. We’ve been involved in peace negotiations resulting in ongoing peaceful co-existence for many years now…”

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Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom is an experienced Journalist, Blogger and Writer with several years of experience. His stories are based on community development and have brought positive change across board.

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