By Chioma Onuegbu
Uyo—SOME residents of Akwa Ibom State have resorted to fastening fetish traditional charms called Ayei, on their property marked for demolition to prevent government officials from carrying out the exercise.
However, the fetish traditional charms fastened on some illegal structures along Ikot Oku Ikono Junction, where a proposed flyover is to be sited, and the Uyo-Etinan dual carriageway stretching up to Ikot Ekang Junction, were set on fire by officials of the Ministry of Works on Tuesday, July 2, during the demolition exercise.
Reacting yesterday, the immediate past Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyen, said such fetish actions would not scare Akwa Ibom State Government or deter its resolve to develop the state.
Inyangeyen, who has been re-nominated by Governor Udom Emmanuel and awaiting clearance by the state House of Assembly, said such experience of casting spell on property was not new in the state.
He said: “Similar situations have been witnessed in parts of the state where people place charms and idols of different shapes to prevent and intimidate government from carrying out its developmental projects, especially road construction.
“My immediate reaction to such pettiness is to advise such people to repent because such charms cannot stop government from carrying out its development services to the people. My advice is that they should accept government’s compensation to enable them relocate.
“A situation where some people extort money from government when road projects are awarded with outrageous claims on tombstones, shrines and shanties, some of which are hurriedly erected for such sinister purpose, is unfortunate.”