By Jonathan Ugbal
One more person has died from the fracas between residents and members of the now proscribed National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Obudu Local Government Area of northern Cross River.
This brings the total fatality rate to four, all within five hours on Saturday in a fatal fracas between residents and the youth council.
The death of 15 year old Adeh Kyrian, a native of Kakum where Governor Ben Ayade hails, is said to have triggered the unrests.
He is speculated to have died from wounds received from a brutal beating by NYCN members following his father’s decision to hand him over for punishment for allegedly stealing about NGN10,000 of his money.
“Kyrian’s father gave the youths some money to beat his son. Maybe 500 Naira or 5,000 Naira and his (Kyrian) death triggered the wahala we are seeing now,” said a source (names withheld on security advise) familiar with the matter.
CrossRiverWatch had erroneously reported earlier that it was the death of one James Amunde Undie that triggered the unrest. That story has since been corrected.
Contrary to wide speculations that he was beaten on Saturday, Mr. Kyrian, this reporter gathered was beaten on Sunday, November 1, 2020 and passed away in the evening of Saturday, November 7, 2020.
The beating happened at a traditional handcuff location at Uquart street near the Obudu main market.
Now, council sources told CrossRiverWatch that Kyrian is suspected to be a member of the Klans Konfraternity gang. And, since the NYCN especially those who carried out the beating were mostly members of the Baggars confraternity, a subset of the Supreme Vikings confraternity, the issue quickly degenerated into a gang war.
“From initial security intel we are getting, the Klans guys were angry and wanted revenge so they went after the youth council who are mostly Baggars,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“They attacked properties owned by the youth council members. And, in order to defend themselves, they resorted to arms which led to the death of two friends and another,” the source added.
Now, Mr. James Undie (pictured below) popularly known as Amunde and his friend identified as ‘Bobo’ are said to have walked from Ukwel-Obudu road to Ogoja road on Saturday night to join what had become a violent protest when They were shot dead by people suspected to youth council members.
A second version of the story claims they were bystanders who were mistaken as members of the Klans konfraternity and shot dead by members of the Baggars confraternity.
A third is said to have been killed with machete blows elsewhere.
The three corpses are currently deposited at the morgue in Sacred Heart Hospital, Obudu.
On Sunday morning, one was also shot and is currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed medical facility.
Meanwhile, the council Chairman, Mr. Eraye Ewhe who had proscribed the NYCN has also imposed a curfew between the hours of 5:00PM and 6:00AM while the State relaxed its curfew to between 10:00PM and 6:00AM.
The curfew began on Sunday and a statement signed by his spokesman, Richard Abu said: “Residents are advised to observe this curfew as those found flouting it will be arrested.”
“The restriction in movement is to help the security operatives fish out the perpetrators of these dastardly attacks and criminals that would want to take advantage of the situation and commit crimes, while the Chairman continues to dialogue with stakeholders on the way forward,” the release read.