Akwa Ibom assemblyman raises alarm over worsening security challenges

A lawmaker in Akwa Ibom State has raised alarm over the insecurity in his constituency

The lawmaker, Victor Ekwere, who represents Mkpat Enin State Constituency, said what began as a communal clash in the area has degenerated into abductions and killings.

“Mr Speaker, we have lost count of the number of people that have been kidnapped, killed or robbed in that axis,” Mr Ekwere said during Tuesday’s plenary of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, in Uyo.

The lawmaker raised the issue as a matter of urgent public importance.

He urged the executive arm of government to liaise with security agencies to restore peace to the affected communities as residents can no longer live peacefully.

“The locals can no longer close their two eyes at night because of the alarming level of insecurity that we have there,” he said.

The two communities affected are Ikot Ebak in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area and Ediene Atai in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, the lawmaker said.

He said the insecurity has affected residents of neighbouring communities, and that innocent road users have been killed.

“We have lost count of the number of people that have been kidnapped, killed or robbed in that axis. They have even infiltrated other parts of Oruk Anam and Mkpat local government areas.

“Inhabitants of Ikot Ebak, Ediene Atai and other villages around there have no peace; road users too have not been spared, kidnapping, robbery, killings and other vices are the order of the day.”

Ikot Ebak and Ediene Atai are located about 41 kilometres from Uyo, the state capital.

The road passing through the two communities is a major gateway to Ikot Abasi where the moribund Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria is located, and Port Harcourt in Rivers State.

The two communities have been enmeshed in decades of boundary crisis.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Aniekan Bassey, referred Mr Ekwere’s motion to the Committee on Boundary and Conflict Resolution.

The police in Akwa Ibom said the crisis would have been worse if not for the intervention and the presence of the police in the area.

The police spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, told newsmen that the police were investigating the crisis with the aim of bringing the perpetrators to book.

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