…Say invasion hindering children from participating in NECO exams
…Ayade’s aide resigns over poor handling of dispute
…Troops were never unprofessional, they were shot at —Army spokesperson
By Ike Uchechukwu, CALABAR
Elders and stakeholders from Nko community in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State have said the invasion of their community by Nigerian Army has hindered their children’s rights to education as it has denied them participation in the ongoing National Examination Council, NECO.
Briefing newsmen in Calabar, yesterday, the community leaders said the invasion had made it impossible for their children to partake in the ongoing NECO exams.
Ayade’s aide resigns over poor handling of the dispute
This came as Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to Governor Ben Ayade on Solid Mineral Protection and Monitoring Development, Goddie Akpama, has resigned his appointment over what he described as poor handling of the communal clash between Nko and Onyedama communities in the state.
In a letter dated June 29, 2022, he said: “My decision to resign is borne out of the governor/government’s insensitivity to the good people of my community, Nko in Yakurr LGA of Cross River State.”
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Army had entered the warring communities in a bid to restore peace as well as manage the communal clash between Nko and Onyedama communities in Yakurr and Obubra LGAs following the crisis between the two communities over a parcel of land, which has now been taken over by the state government.
Dr. Akpama Akpama, a former Commissioner, Federal Character Commission in the company of former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs,Usani Usani, said, Nigerian Army’s modus operandi was unethical and unprofessional and their continuous stay was inimical to their people.
He said: “While we support every responsible and meaningful effort towards maintaining lasting peace in the area, we call on the state government and the military authority to stop the raid in Nko community.
“The security situation in Nko community has remained tensed and fragile. For more than five days running, many people have been killed through shooting at sight and a lot more wounded, property that cannot be quantified at the moment have been destroyed.
“Women and children have fled their homes to take refuge in unknown locations, suffering the harsh effects of the weather with the rainy season.
“The four secondary schools in Nko community are involved in the ongoing NECO examination nationwide, the students as we speak, cannot go to school or write the examinations.
“This is appalling and would definitely have effect on our growing youths. Our children generally have been denied their right to education as they cannot continue their learning in an unsafe environment.”
Akpama denied allegations that an army captain was killed and six others missing in Nko.
Community lauds take-over of disputed land
Meanwhile, the community has welcomed the decision of the state government to take over the parcel of land in dispute.
They, however, appealed that the state government should take adequate possession of the said land by using the land effectively so that further crisis may not arise.
It would be recalled that Governor Ben Ayade had on Tuesday dethroned and de-certificated the clan heads and chiefs of the two communities as a way of restoring peace in the area.
Troops were never unprofessional, they were shot at —Army spokesperson
Contacted, Director, Army Public Relations, Bridg.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said: “The troops did not conduct themselves unprofessionally. Troops were legitimately deployed to restore law and order in a communal clash between Oyadama and Nko communities.
“The troops were attacked and shot at with fire arms. The six personnel who are critically wounded are currently under intensive medical care unit.”