There is outrage in Nto Edino Clan in Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State following a #1 million donation to youths of Abama village by the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon Monday Uko, for the proper prosecution of the war between the communities and for a planned reprisal attack against their Ariam neighbours in Ikwanno LGA of Abia State.
Both villages have been in crisis over a disputes piece of land, resulting in violent clashes among the villages with fatalities on both side. Last Thursday, Abama attacked Ariam again resulting in the death of three Ariam indigenes.
Hon Monday Uko was alleged to have met with some youths from Abama village where he donated the money and advised his kinsmen to prepare for a possible reprisal attack.
The commissioner was accompanied to the meeting by the member representing Ikot Ekpene /Obot Akara State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Idongesit Ntekpere, the Obot Akara Transition Committee Chairman, Hon Emmanuel Amama, former permanent secretary, Nicholas Ekarika and Leo Okure amongst others.
The commissioner who was a former Council chairman of Obot Akara had barely left the venue after making the donation when the youths engaged in a free for all fight over how best the money will be utilized. Trouble started when some youths suggested that Leo Okure who accompanied Hon Uko to the meeting should take custody of the cash pending it’s “utilisation”.
According to an eye witness who pleaded anonymity, some youths objected to it on the grounds that the same Okure had not accounted for an earlier #1 million donation made by the Commissioner or the same purpose last month.
“We had advised the Commissioner to draw the attention of the State Governor to the crisis in order for him to reach out to his Abia state counterpart. That way, an inter-state committee can be set up to resolve the crisis but he said he already drew the Governor’s attention to it but that Governor Udom Emmanuel was not proactive on issues of security”, he declared.
Also speaking, a retired Secondary School Principal who did not want his name in print said, the Governor should as a matter of urgency wade into the crisis and possibly draft in the military personnel stationed at the boundary between the two states to avoid an escalation of the crisis.
He advocated for a non violent approach as the best option in resolving the crisis and blamed the village head of Abama for being responsible for the land encroachment which triggered the crisis.
Efforts to speak with the Commissioner was unsuccessful but his aide justified the #1 million cash donation, saying the money was meant for self defence in the event of a reprisal attack by the Ariam people.