There was panic as furious soldiers canceled peace meeting and swung into action against warring youths after another solder was killed.
A group of youths from Yache-Ijiegu community in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State were arrested by soldiers on Thursday evening in connection with the alleged killing of a soldier during the communal conflict with Tiv settlers. The soldiers, who were deployed to maintain peace in the area following the ongoing faceoff, detained the youths for questioning.
The arrest took place amid escalating tensions after the soldiers’ colleague was killed during the recent clash, resulting in 20 reported deaths and extensive property damage. The soldiers, angered by the loss of their comrade, canceled a planned peace meeting between the conflicting parties and opted to detain the Yache-Ijiegu youths for interrogation instead.
Sources revealed that the soldiers insisted on locating the hospital where the injured Yache-Ijiegu youths were being treated. During their visit, one of the injured boys informed the soldiers that the individual responsible for the accidental death of the soldier had been promptly shot and killed by the soldiers themselves during the confrontation with the Tiv settlers.
The Yache-Ijiegu community is now gripped by fear as reports suggest that the Tiv settlers are mobilizing for another attack, while the soldiers have allegedly issued threats. Senator Stephen Odey, a native of Yache-Ijiegu and a serving commissioner, has appealed to the commander in charge of Ogoja barracks for a peaceful resolution, urging the soldiers to refrain from attacking the community.
When contacted, the leader of the arresting soldiers, Lt Hassan, declined to comment, while another commander, Lt Alex, confirmed the soldier’s death, expressing dissatisfaction with the ongoing situation.