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By Frankie Ifop | The Paradise

Nine persons including a former Cross River State House of Assembly Member, Barr. Tom Agi and Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress(APC) of Yala Local Government Area, Barr. Ogbeche have been shot during a political defection.

Others were Lucy Ogbeche, Linus Onah, Austin Ogabor who is now amputated and some persons yet to be identified.

THE PARADISE gathered that the victims were shot at a defection rally of Barr. Alphonsus Ogar Eba, Director-General of Cross River State Due Process and Price Intelligence Bureau, who was defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to the APC.

The incident which occurred on Saturday, June 5, 2021, at about 3-5pm at Echumofana Ward, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State, sources say was as a result of an accidental discharge from a rifle of a Mobile Police (MOPOL) officer.

“We were at the defection ground in Echumofana ward, Barr. Alphonsus Eba’s village where he was registering his defection from the PDP to the APC when the incident happened.

“It was his MOPOL escort’s bullet that hit all the people; 9 of them in number. Barr. Tom Agi, Barr. Ogbeche (current APC Caretaker Committee Chairman of Yala), Austin Ogabor, Lucy ogbeche, Linus Onah and four others whom I couldn’t get their names were hit by the bullets.

“They were rushed to Monaya Hospital in Ogoja and some were admitted in a private ward. Austin Ogabor was amputated.

“Yesterday (Sunday), two persons were referred to Ebonyi State and Mkar (Benue State) hospitals for further treatment”, a source who pleaded anonymity told THE PARADISE.

Reacting to the incident, Alphonsus Eba said it is the work of evil-doers while calling for calm in the community and across the Local Government Area.

According to a statement from Eba on Monday night, he had visited the hospitals where the victims are receiving treatment to foot the bills.

Eba who witnessed the incident of the accidental discharge said: “it was unfortunate”. He, however, appealed for calm, adding that “the victims are responding to treatment.

“I urge our people to stay vigilant because we cannot allow those who always celebrate bad news to destroy our collective will to develop this place”.

“I had visited the victims severally in the hospital and had taken responsibility for all the bills”, Eba said, while warning those spreading unnecessary rumours of death and distorting facts to be ashamed of themselves.

He also warned those calling hospitals’ staff to demand hospital bills to go and solve their problems because “I have the means by the grace of God to pay the medical bills of the affected persons and to cater for their well-being afterwards”.

He added that “it was purely a spiritual battle by evildoers but God showed up to put the devil to shame as always”.

The DG Due Process, therefore, appealed “most passionately to families of the victims of the incident to maintain calmness, pull back and allow measures instituted to address our collective pains to play out.

“Let us take back our hitherto peaceful communities from rumour mongers who do not represent our collective wishes”, he added.

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Hi, I,m Pospi Otuson. A Nigerian Blogger, Social Entrepreneur and Convener of the renowned Boki Business Conference. CEO/Founder of Possibility Desk, the largest online consulting platform for possibilities in the world.

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