CommunityTop News

Aftermath Of Communal Clash, Governor Umo Eno Reads Riot Act

... Government To Take Over Stubbs Creek Forest Reserve

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, visited the centre of the communal clash between Ibeno, Eket, and Esit Eket Local Government Areas earlier today to see the extent of damage that occurred in the area.

Governor Umo Eno, flanked by service commanders of various security agencies, stakeholders from affected communities, and other top government officials in the state, addressed the situation. In his speech, he sounded both as a peacemaker, in line with his pastoral calling, and as the Chief Security Officer of the State. The governor spoke firmly and asked those responsible for the unnecessary and wanton destruction to cease, as he had credible intelligence on their activities.

“I have credible intelligence on those who are sponsoring our young people to go out and cause this mayhem.

“After this warning today, if this happens again, I can assure you that the government will call you out, pick you up, and you will face the penalty squarely.

“So I want to appeal to our political gladiators to stop taking sides and fanning the embers of disunity. We are leaders, and we cannot be sponsoring young people to take the laws into their own hands. We will not allow it.”

Playing the role of a peacemaker, Governor Eno reminded the people of their filial and communal ties.

“The two communities are united in so many ways. There is a high level of intermarriage between yourselves, and I do not see any reason for these repeated clashes. By the grace of God, we are determined to put an end to this problem.

“I had to evacuate 16 people who were wounded in the course of these unfortunate clashes, and once I leave here, I am going to visit them at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.”

Related: Senator Sampson Sues For Peace Over Eket-Ibeno Community Crisis

Governor Eno gave a strong note of warning to the Transition Chairmen of the affected three local government areas: Eket, Esit Eket, and Ibeno.

Communal clash in Eket, Esit Eket and Ibeno

“I want to say this to the chairmen of the three local government councils: You have the responsibility to maintain law and order in your respective domains. If any of this should happen again in your domains, you know you are transition chairmen; I will remove you immediately, and I promise you, I will!”

On the main cause of the conflict, Stubbs Creek Forest, Governor Eno declared that “the land belongs to the government.”

“Stubbs Creek, I want to state emphatically, belongs to neither Eket, Esit Eket nor Ibeno. It is a forest reserve that belongs to the government.

“Since 1930, I have seen all the gazettes, even those from 1966 to date. So those who have gone in there have essentially been encroaching on the government’s land, and this must stop today.

“I have directed the Ministry of Lands to come up with the entire plan, and we will soon proclaim it.

“The government needs Stubbs Creek Forest Reserve as a source of carbon credits, which ultimately will provide jobs for the youths of these areas.”

Read Also: Essien To Akpabio: Learn From History, Prioritise People’s Interests, Uphold Transparency, Accountability, Justice

The governor warned those who may try the resolve of the government to have a rethink.

”Security agencies will continue to ensure there is law and order. They have the directive to confront any group that may want to start this problem again.

“They are going to be stationed here, and they will not be lenient with anyone who breaks the law. The law will certainly take its course. We must have communities that are governed by law, so please be warned.”

On the issue of the new map for the state, Governor Eno pleaded for understanding, noting that the case is in court. “While the matter is still in court, you have to wait. Please let us be calm and maintain peace.

“I came here today as a man of peace, and I speak peace in this land, that the people of Eket, Esit Eket, and Ibeno must accept peace, and peace will return to these communities.”

The Governor later visited victims of the communal clash at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, where he went around the wards to comfort the wounded, an act that was well received by the families of the victims and the entirety of the Teaching Hospital staff, who came out to cheer the Governor.

Related Articles

Back to top button