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Akwa Ibom community warns state govt

UYO—THE Ikot Akpan Udo community in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has warned the state government against plans to return the Amazaba Andonis of Eastern Obolo Local Government Area to its neighbourhood, after the Andoni genocide and virtual destruction of the community on 28 August 2008.

The community which issued the warning after a meeting at Ikot Abasi, weekend, said it was dismayed that the government was not making appropriate moves to relocate the Amazaba Andonis to Otunene, Utana Okoroete, or Utana Iko in Eastern Obolo LGA, where they came from.

Village Head of Ikot Akpan Udo, Chief Oscar Abel, said in a statement: “We are disturbed that more than 21 months after the Amazaba Andonis imported their people from Rivers State to embark on a genocide that led to the death of 11 citizens and the destruction of Ikot Akpan Udo in Ukpum Ete clan, Ikot Abasi LGA, the state government has failed to take steps to avert future occurrences of bloodshed in the area.

“We are further disturbed that the mobile police team deployed after the Amazaba Andoni genocide, to offer protection to the hapless refugees of Ikot Akpan Udo, is now serving the interests of the Andonis of Eastern Obolo LGA at Okoroete, to the detriment of our people.

“We demand that not only should this compromised mobile police gang be dismantled, but that a new team be deployed to offer protection to Ikot Akpan Udo, and mandated to severe any relationships with these Andonis.”

The village head said that the only action that would prevent future clashes in the area was the relocation of the Amazaba Andonis away from Ikot Akpan Udo, stressing that their relocation to Eastern Obolo islands would stem the proclivity of their blood-thirsty adventurers, and dissuade them from embarking on fresh annihilation attempts.
Chief Abel, who noted that his people were weary of their refugee status, urged the state government to allow them to return to rebuild their homes.

It will be recalled that on 28 August 2008, Amazaba Andoni militants of Eastern Obolo LGA, along with their peolpe in Rivers State, unleashed an unprecedented mayhem on Ikot Akpan Udo community in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The mayhem led to the virtual destruction of the community and death of 11 persons.

Since then, Ikot Akpan Udo citizens have become refugees in Ukpum Ete clan and other villages in  Ikot Abasi LGA, and have experienced untold hardships.

Akwa Ibom State government responded with the setting up of a commission of inquiry to determine the immediate and remote causes of the mayhem, and further empanelled a boundary committee to delimit the boundaries between Ikot Abasi and Eastern Obolo local government areas.

The state government has, however, not taken any actions to rebuild Ikot Akpan Udo as, it is reportedly waiting for the State House of Assembly to approve its appropriation estimates before ordering the rehabilitation of the community.


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