A group known as Abanwan Consultative Assembly has accused the Technical Assistant to the Vice President office on New Media, Mr. Philip Obin of sponsoring and being responsible for the renewed unrest and communal clashes between his Community Urugbam and the entire communities in Erei.
In a communique addressed to the Executive Governor of Cross River State Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade and signed by her Secretary Mr. Tony Wikom-Ukam, drew His Excellency’s attention to the numerous lies through misleading phone messages, calls and letters by Mr. Philip Obin to peddle falsehood and cause unending tension and full blown war in Erei nation.
According to the communique,the most recent attack on Erei started on the 3rd of May 2020, following the withdrawal of military personnel from Erei. In their words:
“Until the 3rd of May 2020 when the soldiers pulled out, there was relative peace in Erei. But the Urugbam Community taking advantage of the vacation of the soldiers resolved to throw Erei nation into chaos and anarchy once again. On the 12th of May 2020, after their attack on Egbor people, the Urugbam boys again opened fire on two young Obum boys (Mr. Francis Ogban Elot and Benedict Owali Elot) and one Adim boy (Mr. Dennis) residing in Obum on their way back from Abanwan to buy some drinks as usual, leaving two of the victims seriously inflicted with bullet injuries.
As we speak, Urugbam youths have mounted road blocks on the only road leading to Abanwan and some other Erei communities causing mayhem along the road, similar to what led to the first hostility and communal war in Erei. We have on good record that Urugbam community is sponsoring the importation of armed mercenaries into their community in readiness to prosecute native war against Abanwan and other communities in Erei”.
The group also noted that:
“a bomb explosion which threw the entire Erei communities in disarray was heard. Further findings revealed that the bomb detonation was a result of the testing of arms and ammunition newly acquired by Mr. Philip Obin for his urugbam community by one Frank Owali and his group. This particular ugly incidence occurred between the hours of 12:30am and 2am, and led to serious panick and chaos in the entire Erei nation with many fleeing their homes as a result”.
The group also alleged that Mr. Philip Obin uses bulk Short Message Service (SMS) as a tactics to mislead other Erei communities into believing that the Federal or State government had sent in troops of Soldiers and Mobile Policemen who are on their way to intervene, only to pave way for his community (Urugbam) to carryout planned attacks on other communities.
For instance, “on the 12th of May 2020, a bulk SMS emanating from the said Philip Obin clearly reads as follows:“Urgent! Information reaching me now is that Abanwan boys are heading towards Egbor Community to harvest palm fruits in the plantation and they are prepared for the worst. As I speak, Erei People are already on their heels. I just got that SMS now. Please let’s investigate and do the needful. Good Morning”. Barely three hours after the said message was circulated by the said Philip Obin, “serious shooting broke out in Egbor palm plantation between combined efforts of Urugbam and Ekoli Edda boys of Ebonyi State against Egbor people who went to their plantation for their normal farming activities. This resulted in the killing of one Egbor woman. The question here is, how was Philip Obin able to pre-empt an event yet to occur? Was he making an attempt to indict Abanwan Community for a crime himself and his community were planning to execute?”
The group was equally worried about the open confrontation and threat by the said Philip Obin recently and circulated in several social media platforms that“a second war in Erei would not favour anyone or community…I have the capacity to sponsor a war.” The above except was allege to have been extracted from Mr. Philip Obin’s social media handles on the 27th of March, 2020, and in just less than 2 months, there is a renewed war and unrest orchestrated by the Urugbam community.
The Abanwan Consultative Assembly maintain that Mr. Philip Obin has on several occasions used his purported office as Technical Assistant and sometimes fake as the Vice President (Prof. Yemi Osibanjo) to deceive and intimidate Erei people”. Hence, the group calls for urgent investigations and probe into the activities of Mr. Philip Obin and his cohorts in Urugbam community by DSS, Military, Nigerian Police and other relevant government agencies to avert another full blown war in Erei communities.