By The Evangelist News Edition, Sunday June 25, 2023. Admin.
The Coalition of Aboriginal Coastal Local Government Areas of Eket, Esit Eket, ONNA, Mkpat Enin and Ikot Abasi, has called on the State Government to increase security presence in the coastal communities and ensure those behind incessant disturbances, are brought to book.
The Coalition was addressing newsmen in Uyo on Friday, after a meeting in Eket to review the mapping of the State and express gratitude to the House of Assembly, the immediate past Governor and the Surveyor General for the official map to end the perennial conflicts with some local governments over boundaries on the Atlantic coastline.
The President of the Coalition, Dr. Samuel Udonsak, who read the press statement, condemned the destruction of lives and property in Ikot Akpan Udo in Ikot Abasi; as well as Coconut Plantation and skirmishes in Esit Urua, Eket Local Government Area.
Dr. Udonsak, who was flanked by members of the group, including Chairmen of affected Local Government Areas, reeled out historical facts and court judgments on the subject matter and said that the ownership of the entire coastline of the State has been determined in perpetuity by various apex courts, as far back as 1918.
He said the Aboriginal Coastal Areas were not against those canvassing for Ijaw or Obollo State, but stressed that, no Ibibio aboriginal land would be part of such a State.
The Chairman of Esit Eket Local Government, Mr. Iniobong Robson said it was laughable that those against the mapping of the State, are promoting an illegal map, which past and present Governors and military administrators of the State, have denied.
Mr. Robson, who is the Chairman, Association of Local Government Chairmen in Nigeria, ALGON, also recalled that the Court had directed the Surveyor General of Akwa Ibom State to “produce map of Esit Eket Local Government Area and Akwa Ibom State, locating Ine Akpautong in Esit Eket”.
He questioned the interest of an Ijaw man who represents Andoni/Opobo Nkoro Federal Constituency in Rivers State, in the coastline communities of Akwa Ibom State, when the agitators from Eastern Obolo and Ibeno, have representatives both in the National and State Assemblies.
The Esit Eket Council Chairman said indigenes of Akwa Ibom should not be worried by such a petition from who he described as “an intruder” regarding his interests against the action of the State Government.
Also at the media briefing were the Chairman of Ikot Abasi Local Government, Elder Joshua Affia, a retired Permanent Secretary, Mr. Nsudoh Nsudoh and former House of Representatives member for Eket, ONNA, Esit Eket, Ibeno Federal Constituency, Barrister Bassey Dan-Abia, who confirmed the decision of the Supreme Court, as well as the West African Court of Appeal and the Privy Council in London that the entire coastal Area from Stubbs Creek, belongs to the Ekets, comprising Esit Eket and Eket Local Government Areas.