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Tempers are flaring in Itigidi, in the Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State after a mortician, Mr. Isong Nkanu, was allegedly killed by some anti-riot policemen.
PUNCH Metro learnt on Tuesday that a detachment of anti-riot policemen had been sent to the community to maintain peace following threats by some youths to burn down the Itigidi Police Station on Monday.
The threat was sequel to the invitation of three village chiefs and a youth leader by the police for questioning over the killing of a cow by an unknown person in October 2017.
Following the detention of the community leaders, some angry youths in Itigidi reportedly embarked on a protest for the release of the four leaders.
A resident of Itigidi, Mr. Raymond Egbe, said Nkanu, aka Isong No Joke, was killed when the police shot to disperse the protesters.
Egbe said, “To be honest with you, the matter was politicised. If not, we do not see any reason why a matter concerning a cow that was shot dead in October 2017 will come up now.
“They are claiming that herdsmen reported the matter, but the herders are not even domiciled in this area. It was a demonstration; we did not attack any policeman, neither did we burn any part of the police station.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident.
She said, “The herdsmen complained some months ago that indigenes of Itigidi community killed their cow. On the strength of that information, we invited the community leaders in order to make peace. Unfortunately, some youths in the community read a different meaning to the invitation of their community leaders.
“They became restive and threatened to burn down the Itigidi Police Station. There was intervention by the police and in the process, one person died.”