Cross River state command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on Tuesday confirmed the death of one policeman and three other persons in a clash between Ojor and Uyangha communities in the Akamkpa local government area of the state.
Spokesperson of the police command, Irene Ugbo, while confirming the death of the policeman in the clash however failed to give the name of the affected police officer.
Ugbo stated that the police officer was killed while trying to mediate in the renewed scuffle between the communities.
She however added that policemen had been deployed to the area and relative calm had been restored.
Eyewitnesses who spoke to newsmen about the circumstances surrounding the clash, said the renewed fighting which started on Monday and spilled into Tuesday, was ignited when some armed persons from Ojor tried to pass through Uyangha and were refused passage.
One Uyangha resident, Mr Solomon Ayi, noted that Ojor could only be accessed through Uyangha and that the refusal of passage resulted in the fight which led to the death of the policeman and 3 others.
“The Uyangha people stopped some Ojor youths from passing through their community and it resulted in conflict, which led to the killing of three people from Uyangha. I am sure that there were fatalities on the part of the Ojor people too, but I cannot confirm,” Ayi said.
Despite being neighbours, both communities which share similar cultures, had in recent time been engaged in a violent communal clash.
According to the Punch, the two communities were involved in a clash in June which led to the death of 10 persons, while 15 buildings were burnt.
The state government is yet to issue a statement on the incident and it is uncertain what measures the government put in place to prevent a recurrence of the clash following the loss of lives and property in June.