The Paramount Ruler of Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Etim C. D. Abia, has lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel over the remapping exercise saying it will foster unity and peaceful in the state.
Akwa Ibom State Map Establishment Law 2023 was recently passed by the State House of Assembly.
In an interview with newsmen in his Palace in Eket, Abia, the Atta Ekid Afid, said that the state’s map was important as it would bring an end to years of disputes over boundaries between neighbouring communities.
“We couldn’t have continued as a state without having a map, an official gazetted map.
“What was circulated in the past was not an official map, it was something someone drew and people used it and that map created a lot of problems,” he said.
He commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for his courage and determination in ensuring that the state had an official map, which he described as a vital tool for ensuring peace and stability.
“This map is expected to show clearly where the boundary of each Local Government is and bring to an end all the fights.
“The Governor has done well, he has the courage to do the right thing and not minding anybody, we couldn’t have had a state that didn’t have a map.”
The Paramount Ruler also drew attention to the fact that the map would prevent Local Government Areas from making claims on territories that were not rightfully theirs.
“We in Eket have been fighting since 1914 to get the proper boundary demarcated between us and Ibeno. This case went up to the privy council, the highest court in the British Empire and right from Nigeria, Eket won the case both in the High Court, Court of Appeal to the British Council. Ibeno never accepted that Judgment
“It is not up to Ibeno to implement the judgment but when there is a judgment that involves land it is the government that should implement the judgment but successive governments haven’t implemented the judgment.
“We also joined in the case to argue where QIT(Qua Iboe Terminal) is and they lost; the appeal was thrown out but still they won’t give up.
“This map is very important, not just for Eket alone because it affected Onna, Mkpat Enin, Eastern Obolo and Ikot Abasi.
“But this map is expected to show clearly where the boundary of each local government is and bring to an end all the fights,” he said.
He further noted that in the past, there had been conflicts over territories that were not properly delineated, leading to tension and sometimes violence between communities but with the map, he said, such conflicts would be a thing of the past.
Speaking on the development across the state, the monarch said Governor Udom Emmanuel has exceeded expectations in his commitment to the development of Akwa Ibom State.
He observed that despite the challenges facing the state, Governor Emmanuel has remained resolute in his efforts to transform the state, and has put Akwa Ibom among the most developed states in Nigeria.
He also said that Governor Emmanuel has taken the development agenda to a higher level, by implementing policies and programmes that have improved the lives of the people.
“Mr Udom Emmanuel has put Akwa Ibom State among most developed states in Nigeria. He has touched every local Government Area. I am surprised that he had to wait this long to commission Eket-Etinan road, the road is a long project all the way from Uyo to Etinan to Eket, he should have commissioned the road in sections”.
“The Governor has done well; he has the courage to do the right thing not minding anybody.
“Akwa Ibom State is one of the smallest states that is doing very well; thanks to people like Governor Udom Emmanuel. He has exceeded expectations, and has put Akwa Ibom State among the most developed states in Nigeria.”