The State Security Adviser, SSA, to Governor Ben Ayade, Jude Ngaji, Tuesday in Calabar allegedly ordered the stripping and beating of two Obudu chiefs who honoured an invitation by the SSA to attend a security meeting in his office in Calabar.
Chief Moses Odikpo, Chief Denis Ugani Ujie, both of Okworotung clan in Obudu local government area told newsmen that they honoured a radio announcement by the SSA to attend a meeting; an agenda was not included in the announcementwhile deliberations were going on, Ngaji then called on one of the staff in his office “Commander” and asked him to take them to their “shrine” and give them “the special treatment.”
According to Chief Odikpo who is the Clan Head of Okworotung “We unsuspectingly followed them to the place just opposite the governor’s office where we were then asked to strip and after prolonged exchanges, we stripped and they use their bare hands on our heads, backs and chest, hitting us hard.”
Chief Ugani who is aged said he even asked one of them if they were going to beat their father since he had children the age of the Mopol officer who replied him that he was not his father.
When media personels contacted Mr. Jude Ngaji, the State Security Adviser, he denied knowledge of anyone been beaten or stripped.
Mr. Ngaji however accepted that any of the chiefs who misbehaves and instigate crises in their domains will be dealt with and even asked to do more than frog jump.
“To the best of my knowledge, no one was beaten or asked to do frog jump. We invited all the leaders that their people are fighting and made it clear to them that war has never and will never solve any problem. We had useful deliberations and we made it clear to them that government will hold them responsible if there is breakdown of law and order in their various communities.
“After then, they were asked to go and write undertaking and they went and did that. I have no knowledge that anyone was beaten. However if any of the chiefs misbehaves and instigate crises in their domains, this government will not spare them. They will be held responsible and they will even do more than that frog jump.” He said.
The chiefs have since returned to Obudu with CrossRiverWatch gathering that part of the discussions before the beatings centred on the Okworotung – Kutia crisis which is currently a legal matter before the Court.