Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state has confirmed there’s an ongoing bloody clash between the Ukelle people of the state and the people of Izzi community in Ebonyi state.
The governor had immediately solicited the help of the Air Officer Commanding, Mobility Command of the Nigerian Air Force, Peter Uzezi who called on him few hours ago at the Government House in Calabar.
Ayade said: “I received a text message that there is a full fledged war between Cross River and Ebonyi going on right now, around Izzi in Ebonyi and Ukelle, Cross River area. Lives are being lost; they are firing and killing, even as arson is taking place there right now.”
He appealed to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Sadique Abubakar, to domesticate one helicopter in the state in order to give the needed practical air cover along the volatile communities.
He also disclosed that he has called on the Commander of the 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army to respond by deploying his men to stop the killings in both communities.
Ayade recalled that recently there was also a reported crisis between Osokpong community in Obubra, Cross River and its neighbours in Ebonyi state.
The governor said the call to the Army and NAF was critical as it will check the lingering crisis involving Cross River and its neighbouring states including international communities who share boundaries with the state.
He maintained that “the length of the state and its advantage of having two airports need to be considered as the factors will make the operations easy and useful.”
Responding, Uzezi assured that he will contact Air Force Headquarters to bring in surveillance airplane to fly and see what is happening on ground.
He promised the NAF leadership’s commitment to ensure that Cross River state, as well as other states in the country remain secured.