After Four Years, Feuding Akwa Ibom Communities Set to Reunite
UYO, May 25, (THEWILL) - Peace may soon return to Amazaba community of Eastern Obolo Local Government Area and Ikot Akpan Udo village of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area after a communal clash that led to the destruction of lives and property and internal displacement scores of people four years ago.
The coming peace is the result of the resolve of leaders of the two communities to embrace peace, during their meeting with the State Boundary Committee chaired by the state deputy governor, Mr. Nsima Ekere, on Thursday.
To drive the peace process, the State Boundary Committee has set up two committees: the Peace and Reconciliation Committee, headed by Chief Effiong Eneyo; and a Boundary Delineation Committee, led by Surveyor Okokon Essien, the state surveyor-general.
The deputy governor named other members of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee to include the member representing Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo/Mkpat Enin Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Dr. Akpan Micah Umoh; the member representing Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo in the State House of Assembly, Mr. Aboh Uduyok; the transition committee chairmen and paramount rulers of the two local government areas, the state commissioner of police or his representative, the director of State Security Service or his representative, the Divisional Police Officers of the two local government areas, and the Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ikot Abasi, Rt. Rev. John Koko-Bassey.
The Divisional Police Officers of the two local government areas, the clan Head of Ukpum Ete in Ikot Abasi, and the chairman of the Amazaba Council of Chiefs are to work with the surveyor-general in the Boundary Delineation Committee.
Ekere also directed the state commissioner of police to establish a centrally located Police formation, with the assistance of the chairmen of the two local government areas, to replace the existing two Police units located in each of the two communities.
He asked the Peace and Reconciliation Committee, which has a time frame of one month, to liaise with the elders and chiefs of the two communities, to work out a lasting peace between them; while the Boundary Delineation Committee was mandated to determine and delineate the exact boundary between the two communities.
He expressed confidence in the composition of the two committees and hoped that the Peace and Reconciliation Committee would complete its work on time to enable the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the two communities at a meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 28, 2012.
“The boundary dispute is unfortunate and a very sad commentary on the history of the people of the two local government areas who have been noted for peace and integrity,” he said, commending the resolve of the elders, chiefs and youths of the two communities for peace. He said he had noted, from their speeches at the meeting, that they were tired of war.
Other speakers at the meeting all stressed the need for enduring peace between the two communities. They include the federal and state legislators representing the two communities; the chairman of the State Council of Chiefs, Okuku Ime Udousoro Inyang; the paramount ruler of Ikot Abasi, Edidem Justin Ntuk Ubom; the clan head of Ukpum Ete, Etebom Clement Idemudo; and a retired Anglican priest, Archbishop Emmanuel Nglass.