Govt. frowns at incessant communal clashes in A’Ibom, sues for peace

Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo, on Monday in Uyo appealed to warring communities to live in peace and end incessant destruction of lives and property.

Speaking with newsmen, Ekpo, also the Chairman of the state’s boundary committee, expressed displeasure at recent boundary disputes in the state.

He noted that forebears of the communities involved had lived peacefully with one another in the past without disputes.

“I appeal to our people to try and live with one another in peace and utilise what is available for everyone because land is enough for everybody,’’ Ekpo said.

On Nkari crisis in Ini Local Government Area, he assured that government was working hard to put an end to the crisis which had consumed lives and property.

The deputy governor said also that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed to end the 55-year-old community crisis at Eastern Obolo, Ikot Abasi and Onna.

There had been at least five communal skirmishes in Akwa Ibom this year alone leading to loss of several lives and destruction of property.

There was also a major inter-state clash in March, between the people of Oku Iboku and Ikot Offiong in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom and those of Odukpani Local Government Area in Cross River in which many persons were reported missing and houses burnt.

On Jan. 22, Akwa Ibom waded into clashes between Okopedi and Amamong communities in Okobo Local Government Area, urging the warring communities to live in peace when it distributed relief materials to victims.

About the same time, several communities were displaced on account of cult-related crises in Inen clan of Oruk Anam Local Government Area,

Ekpo who visited the area then said it was necessary for the warring communities to sheath their swords and tolerate one another for peace to reign.

On Jan. 27, clashes erupted in Ammamong in Okobo local government area, a predominantly farming community, followed by some skirmishes in Uda community in Mbo local government area and similar eruption in communities in Nkari, Ini Local Government Area.

Ini Local Government Area is a major food basket of the state with rice, cassava and cocoa as leading agricultural products.

On Feb. 3 Ekpo held a meeting between Uko Akpan Enwang and Uko Ntighe Uda villages in Mbo Local Government Area, in Uyo over their boundary disputes.

Ekpo expressed displeasure at crisis in parts of Mbo which he acknowledged had claimed innocent lives and property.

He noted then also that the situation could have been averted if both parties had followed the path of peace and caution. (NAN)