By Chioma Onuegbu Emmanuel Ayungbe
Uyo—Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and other stakeholders in Akwa Ibom State, yesterday, expressed apprehension over the killings and destruction of property in some communities in the South-South region as a result of activities of herdsmen, urging the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to do everything possible to stop the menace.
The stakeholders, who spoke during an interactive session with the Deputy Inspector General Emmanuel Inyang, who was in the state on a working visit, also urged the Police and other security agencies in the country to bring lasting solution to the lingering boundary dispute between Oku Iboku clan in Akwa Ibom State and its neighbouring Ikot Offiong community in Cross Rivers State.
Chairman of CAN, Akwa Ibom State chapter, Rev. Nduesso Ekwere, condemned the recent herdsmen attack on communities in Delta State that led to loss of lives and properties, noting that something should be done to check the wanton destruction of lives and properties.
He said: “We are praying for continued peaceful co-existence between all tribes in Akwa Ibom State. Please do everything to make sure that this state does not experience such havoc.”
On his part the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno Local Government Area, and state Chairman, Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Effiong Archianga, who suggested the death penalty for kidnappers and child traffickers, however urged the DIG to look into the communal clash between Oku Iboku in Itu Local Government Aea of Akwa Ibom state and Ikot Offiong in Cross River State.
Paramount Ruler of Itu HRM Edet Akpaninyang, lamented that over 200 of his subjects have lost their lives in the dispute, blaming inaccessibility to the affected communities as a challenge during attacks.
“ I don’t sleep in the night any longer because the attacks is going on almost on daily basis. Because the only accessibility to the communities is by Road I appeal that the Marine police deployed to patrol along the waters should be given help to enable them function properly especially fueling the boats, he said.
In his response DIG Inyang assured that government was working hand-in-hand with leaders in the two states to bring an end to the crisis.
Inyang who noted that the purpose of his tour of the South- South political zone was to interact with the various stakeholders in each of the states to enhance security however allayed over fear over herdsmen attacks as efforts were in placed to check the menace in the country.