Rebuild our town, ravaged community begs Akpabio

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AS the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, holds a town hall meeting with Ikot Abasi federal constituency, Wednesday, the Village Head of Ikot Akpan Udo in Ukpum Ete clan, Eteidung Oscar Abel, yesterday, urged the governor to rebuild the community that was devastated by the Amazaba militants of Eastern Obolo Local Government Area in August 2008.

Eteidung Abel, who spoke with Vanguard, said the governor has been silent on the Ikot Akpan Udo crisis for almost six years, adding that his visit to Ikot Abasi will offer him the opportunity to fully understand and take necessary action.

The village head said more than 500 houses were burnt in Ikot Akpan Udo by the Andonis of Eastern Obolo Local Government Area, adding that the government should rebuild these homes to enable his internally displaced  people to resume their economic activities since they have been scattered in several villages of Ukpum Ete clan and Ikot Abasi Local Government Area.

He said that while the state government has decided to release a white paper on the judicial commission of enquiry into Nkari crisis in Ini Local Government Area, inaugurated after the murder of three brothers by unknown gunmen in 2013, the government has refused to release the white paper into the Eastern Obolo induced annihilation of Ikot Akpan Udo, which led to the killing of 13 Ikot Akpan Udo citizens and destruction of the community in August 2008.

Eteidung Abel said the state government has, despite appeals, also failed to provide relief materials to the displaced people of Ikot Akpan Udo, adding that the people have become mendicants owing to no fault of theirs.

On the resettlement of Amazaba villagers of Eastern Obolo on Ikot Akpan Udo land, Eteidung Abel said his people would never allow the Amazabas to live with them again, stressing that given the penchant of Eastern Obolo people to shed blood of their neighbours, the only solution that would be acceptable would be the relocation of the Amazaba Andonis to Otunene or Ememen, which is about seven nautical miles from Ikot Akpan Udo mainland, to stem future crisis.

He noted that since the initial attack on Ikot Akpan Udo in 2008, the Amazaba Andonis have invaded the conurbation up to five times, in the process abducting and killing more than ten persons in Ikot Akpan Udo and five persons from the neighbouring Nda Uko village.

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