Youths of Nde community in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State, yesterday, accused soldiers from Amphibious Battalion, Ikom of brutality.
According to the youths, soldiers from the battalion rounded up villagers at Nde and inflicted injuries on them for protesting against cattle grazing on their farms.
Mr Cletus Orem, who claims to be one of the youth, leaders in the community, told Vanguard that several herds of cattle stationed in the community have been grazing on their farms for months which prompted youths on Saturday to confront the herders and asked them to either stop grazing on their farms or leave the community.
Orem said: “The herdsmen then went to Edor Army Barracks which is about three kilometres away to report that youths of Nde attacked them and sent them away from the Community.
“Soldiers from the barracks came in truckloads on Sunday,, rounded up youths and took them to the barracks, flogged them severely, leaving them injured.
“Our community is currently on fire as military men dehumanised the youths with the intent to provoke us but we pleaded with the herdsmen to leave our land after destroying our crops to avoid further attacks.”
But in a swift reaction, the Army Public Relations Officer in Calabar, Captain M. Aluko, said she was not aware of the development. Aluko said: “I will make calls and get back to you.”