Akwa Ibom govt tasks warring communities on peace, harmony
Akwa Ibom State Government has intervened in the communal clashes between Okopedi and Amamong communities in Okobo Council, urging them to live peace and harmony.
Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo, gave the charge at the weekend during the distribution of relief materials worth millions of naira to victims of communal clashes.
Ekpo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Deputy Governor’s office, Nkopuruk Ekaiko, said it was necessary for the warring communities to sheath their swords and to enable them to live in peace and harmony.
He said with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic already taking its toll on the state’s economy, it would be irresponsible for communities, which hitherto coexisted peacefully to resort to violent clashes.
He commended the Okobo Council Chairman, Dr. Sylvester Attah, traditional rulers, security operatives and religious leaders for their roles in restoring peace to the area.
Similarly, several communities recently displaced by cult crisis in Inen Clan, Oruk Anam Council also received relief materials.
Ekpo cautioned the community to embrace peace and contribute their quota to the building of a peaceful society.
He also appealed to the communities to give peace a chance, insisting that no tangible development could thrive in an atmosphere of chaos and cautioned that the state government would no longer give relief materials to any community that engages in violent clashes.
“Government will no longer to intervene in such clashes, because it is already spending too much on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and no community should add to its burden.
“People should learn to live in peace with one another to engender development in their areas and businesses will thrive,” Ekpo said.
Speaking, Attah, who warned the communities that nothing good could be gained communal clashes, appealed to the youths to stop the fighting, adding that anyone that made trouble again in the area would be dealt with decisively in accordance with the laws of the land.
On his part, Paramount Ruler of Okobo, Edidem Ita Okokon III, commended the state government for the intervention, adding that they were working to ensure that peace was restored and sustained in the communities.
He disclosed that a traditional injunction had already been placed on the disputed land and thanked government for the relief materials.
A victim of the crisis, Mrs. Florence Ekpenyong, thanked the state government for the relief materials, describing the destruction of lives and property during the crisis as unwarranted.
Chairman of Oruk Anam, Council, Kingsley Frank, commended the state government for ending to the cult battles in the area and for the relief materials to cushion the effects of the crisis.
The items distributed are, bags of cement, roofing sheets, mattresses, blankets, bags of rice, beans, garri, mats, noodles, mosquito nets, plastic buckets, cartons of seasoning, soap and salt, among others.
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