Following a resurgence of violence in their communities over a land dispute, the Government of Nigeria’s Cross River state dethroned two traditional leaders.
The Nko and Oyadama monarchs were deposed, according to a spokeswoman for the governor of Cross River state, for failing to “rein in on their subjects.”
The state government condemned the attack on the army and ordered that those behind the shooting be fished out.The statement reads: “The ownership of the disputed land has been revoked and taken over by the state government for overriding public interest.
“Additionally, government has ordered the sustenance of army operation in Nko community until those behind the shooting of the six military personnel are produced or fished out.”
Traditional leaders who were expelled from southern Nigeria have not yet made any public statements.
On Friday, the most recent wave of fighting between the two towns erupted, leaving vast tracts of farms and homes in ruins.
When troops were sent in to put an end to the violence, at least six soldiers were shot and injured, according to several neighbors.
At least two civilians were reported to have been killed and numerous others injured when the security forces retaliated by opening fire. Residents have complained about “heavy handed” security measures.
Despite the fact that traditional leaders in Nigeria are not recognised by the constitution, they are still held in high regard as the guardians of both religion and culture.
When there is a breakdown in law and order in their individual areas, the authorities frequently point the finger at them.
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