By Chioma Onuegbu
Uyo—MEMBERS of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly have passed a resolution mandating governor Udom Emmanuel to declare Itu-Oma areas comprising Oku-Iboku, Mbiabo and Ayadehe communities in Itu Local Government Area, an emergency area and subsequently direct the state emergency management to provide relief materials to the communities.
The lawmakers, during yesterday’s plenary, also passed a resolution mandating the governor to increase and sustain security presence and patrol in the communities.
They equally appealed to the National Boundary Commission, NBC, to intensify dialogue between Akwa Ibom and Cross River states with a view to resolving the crisis and returning peace to the communities involved.
The resolutions followed a motion brought on the floor of the House by the member representing Itu state constituency, Mr. Idongesit Ituen, over the lingering boundary crisis between the two states that has led to loss of many lives and destruction of properties worth millions of naira belonging to his people.
Ituen lamented that the incessant attacks followed by continuous killings of the three communities in Itu Local Government Area involved in the disturbing violent boundary crisis with Ikot Offiong community of Cross Rivers State, had exposed the affected communities to untold hardship and hunger as 90 percent of the people residing in the affected areas were farmers and fishermen.
All the Lawmakers who spoke in support of the motion, stressed that the need for the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police to deploy his officers to the Itu-Calabar head Bridge.
The House Leader, and member representing Oruk Anam constituency, Hon. Udo Kieran Akpan, the Deputy Speaker Princess Felicia Bassey, Chairman House Committee on Boundary Resolution, Mark Esset in their separate contributions observed that the Police positioned at the Head Bridge are mostly from Cross Rivers State government, stressing that Akwa Ibom should also deploy large number of police men to the area.
“It is very sad how our people especially women and youths have continued to be killed in the crisis. I am supporting that security should be beefed around the affected areas to avert more bloodshed”, the deputy Speaker said.
The Speaker Onofiok Luke commended the Itu Lawmaker for being sensitive to the plight of his constituents always, urging the Clerk of the House to ensure the resolutions were communicated to the governor.
The House also summoned the Itu Transition Chairman Elsie Esara to appear before it today (Wednesday) for failing to respect two invitations by the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs over a petition of alleged misappropriation of Council Funds leveled against.