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A’ Ibom threatens to take over disputed land over communal crisis

Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor endorses Umo Eno governorship nomination form

Akwa Ibom government has threatened to take over disputed land to stop the carnage that has trailed communal crisis in the state.

It said such lands would be put to use to attract development to the area.

Moses Ekpo, deputy governor of the state, who gave the warning during a meeting at his instance over the boundary dispute between Uko Akpan Enwang and Uko Ntighe Uda villages in Mbo local government area, expressed worry over the continued destruction of lives and property in the affected villages.

Ekpo warned that government would not fold its arms and watch communities take laws into their hands. He expressed displeasure over the recent crises in parts of Mbo which he acknowledged had claimed innocent lives and property, a situation he said could have been averted if both parties had followed the path of peace and caution.

“This meeting is a warning because you lose so much anytime you inflict yourself with crises. The little palliatives given by the state government could have been used for more profitable things and may never be enough to replace the things destroyed”, he stated.

He stressed that “destroying lives and property because of land which originally belongs to God and only held in trust by the government is wrong. We will rather take over the land and manage it than leave it to be the reason for killings and destruction. An industry could be sited there for the interest of both communities”.

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The deputy governor, who assured Mbo people of the readiness of the state government to push through with the Ibom Deep Seaport project, stressed that with the recent approval by the Federal Government it would be counter-productive if Mbo which he described as the “bridgehead and fulcrum” of development was insecure for investment.

Ekpo commended the traditional rulers’ council for their efforts at resolving the matter but advised them to further engage all the parties involved and stakeholders in peaceful discussions in order to arrive at a peaceful resolution. He admonished the youths of the area to be law-abiding as the lasting solution is being brokered.

The deputy governor also charged the security agencies to step up their efforts and ensure that the disputed parcel of land does not become the trigger for further breakdown of law and order in the area.