By Mercy Obot
Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has urged the State Commissioner of Police and Commissioner for Internal Security to reinforce security in Ikot Enwang in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area to protect the indigenes against herdsmen attacks.
This followed a motion moved by the Member representing Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara State Constituency, Hon. Jerry Otu, and seconded by the Member representing Ukanafun State Constituency, Hon. Emem Udom, on Thursday, October 19, 2023.
Presenting the motion, Hon. Jerry Otu said over 100 inhabitants of Ikot Enwang in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area have been affected by the serious menace imposed on them by the herdsmen, adding that open grazing has led to the destruction of their farmlands and produce, thereby causing hardship to the people.
The lawmaker also observed that “the disturbing occurrences by herdsmen have continued unabated for over two years and that despite various peaceful efforts and dialogues to stop the herders from grazing on their farmlands, the situation remains the same and even gets more precarious by the day.”
He, however, expressed worry that “if the situation is not promptly brought under control, the people of Ikot Enwang will continue to live in fear and also lose an important source of their livelihood.”
Hon. Otu urged the Assembly to call on the state government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to enforce the anti-open grazing law in the state as well as mandate the House Committee on Agriculture to ensure implementation.
In their various submissions, the lawmakers supported the motion by raising concerns over the nefarious grazing activities of the herders, which are causing security threats in most communities, emphasising that once the law is enforced, there will be protection of the lives and properties of citizens in the state.
Presiding over the plenary, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Elder Udeme Otong, directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs. Nsikak Orok, to communicate the resolution of the House to the Governor through the Ministry of Agriculture to enforce the anti-open grazing law.
In an interview session, Hon. Jerry Otu called on the state government to implement the anti-open grazing law in the state to provide adequate food supply in most communities.
He also stated his readiness to contribute his quota to safeguarding the lives and properties of his constituents by ensuring that security agencies tackle the nefarious activities of herders in the area.
Meanwhile, the House adjourned the plenary to Thursday, October 26, 2023, by 10:00 a.m.