Ekpotu Seeks Urgent Demarcation of Abia/AK Boundary
27 Aug 2009
The National Boundary Commission has been called upon to expedite action on the demarcation of its boundary with Abia State, in order to avert further loss of lives and property.
Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor, Engr. Patrick Ekpotu made the call shortly after inspecting the houses destroyed in Abiakpo Ikot Okum, Abama and Esa Ikwen villages in Obot Akara local government area by persons suspected to be from Ariam in Abia State.
He called on the Abia State government to rein in its citizens, as a way of forstalling an escalation of the conflict between people of the two States.
While commending the indigenes of the affected villages for not avenging the destruction of their property and the killing of their kinsmen, Engr. Ekpotu sympathized with victims for the unprovoked attack.
The Deputy Governor gave the assurance that he would liaise with his Abia State counterpart and the National Boundary Commission to ensure that peace returned to the areas.
Emphasizing that the State Government would not abandon any distressed Akwa Ibom community, he pledged government’s support to enable those whose houses were burnt or destroyed to rebuild them. Accordingly, he ordered immediate release of relief materials to the victims.
The Chairman of Obot Akara local government, Mr. Shilling Paul lamented that the insecurity caused by the attack and lack of access to farmland is threatening food security in the area and sued for the State government’s intervention.
He described the visit of the Deputy Governor as timely, noting that it had assured the people of government’s concern for their welfare.
The Paramount Ruler of Obot akara , Okuku Uwa Umo Adiaka who conducted the Deputy Governor round the scenes of the carnage lamented that his subjects had suffered untold hardship, occasioned by the aggression from their Ariam neighbours.
He recalled that the age-long natural boundary defined by a stream and confirmed by both sides had been maintained until seven years ago when Abia neighbours trespassed into Obot Akara farmlands.
The attack on the Obot Akara villages left four houses burnt and several others destroyed, while five persons were said to have lost their lives.