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Senator Sampson Sues For Peace Over Eket-Ibeno Community Crisis

Tony Anichebe, Uyo

The once peaceful coastal communities of Eket, Esit Eket, and Ibeno local government areas of Akwa Ibom State are presently engulfed in communal conflict over the oil-rich Stubbs Creek Forest Reserves, known as Akoiyak land.

This impending discord stems from the reluctance of the Akwa Ibom State government to uphold judicial rulings regarding the rightful ownership of the Stubbs Creek Forest.

The Stubbs Creek Forest, a mainstay of oil wealth extending to the coastal boundaries, harbours notable entities such as ExxonMobil QIT and various crude oil reserves. However, amidst the wealth lies a contentious issue: the claim of ownership between the Ibeno Local Government Area and the Eket and Esit Eket Local Government Areas, on the other hand.

The Akwa Ibom State Police Command told journalists on Wednesday that they cannot confirm any loss of life for now because no dead body has been seen.

However, according to the PPRO, SP. Odiko Macdon, “The Command hereby confirms that some persons were injured and are receiving treatment. Some houses were burned and access routes barricaded, but as of now, normalcy has to a large extent been restored.”

Related: Poverty: Nigeria Has No Excuse Considering Huge Mineral Endowments – Senator Sampson

Against the backdrop of ensuing hostilities between Eket and Ibeno Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State, the Senator representing Akwa Ibom South in the National Assembly, Senator Ekong Sampson, has sued for peace between both parties.

In a press statement endorsed by Senator Sampson and made available to journalists in Uyo, he said that he was concerned and deeply saddened over the flaring tensions between ‘the two sister local government areas’.

Senator Sampson, in his statement, appealed for a truce over the issues in contention and urged parties to ‘please, desist from inflammable utterances and posturings that tend to exacerbate the already volatile situation’.

He reiterated that no agitation in Akwa Ibom South was worth the life of any indigene of the Senatorial District, and as such, violence in the area must be discouraged.

The Akwa Ibom South Senator revealed that he was already reaching out to key stakeholders in the affected areas towards a peaceful resolution, noting that ‘our diversity needs development, not bloodshed’.

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