By Harris Emanuel, Uyo
Akwa Ibom and Abia State governments have appealed to the federal government to establish a police post as a matter of urgency at the Ini/Obot Akara and Ikwuano border axis so as to forestall future skirmishes.
The recent escalation of hostilities at the Ini/Obot Akara Local governments of Akwa Ibom and their Ikwuano Local Government neighbors of Abia State has been blamed on the non-publication of the report of the border tracing exercise by the National Boundary Commission, NBC, Vanguard has learned.
The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Moses Ekpo who gave the background in a media interview on the return of crises at the border noted that following the failure of the report of the field tracing exercise, it only took the personal intervention of the two state’s deputy governors to maintain a fragile peace at the two state’s joint borders.
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On the interim measures to stem the escalation of hostilities, the deputy governor noted that there is an on-going dialogue between him and the deputy governor of Abia State where they resolved to use prominent community leaders and local government council officials from both sides, to create a better understanding and bring about long-lasting peace in the area, more so, as the crises is often escalated during farming seasons such as now.
Ekpo however appealed to the National Boundary Commission, NBC, to re-prioritize the conflict areas, and return to complete and publish the field tracing exercise report in the best interest of peace, equity, and respect for the sanctity of human lives.
Commenting on the current crises, he stressed that from reports available to him from both the Police and Ini Local government council, the situation had not escalated to a full-blown skirmish occasioning the loss of any life.
The Deputy Governor revealed that the Ini/Ikwuano local government situation was a very fragile and delicate one, worsened by the fact that they were a closely knitted people who were bonded through blood and social integration, hence, the need to protect and preserve the sanctity of such bonding through an expedited peaceful resolution of the border issue.
It would be noted that the joint field tracing exercise conducted by the National Boundary Commission at the Itu Mbonuso – Iwerre/Bende – Arochukwu sector of the Akwa Ibom/Abia border was abruptly suspended by the NBC since 2014.