From Joe Effiong and Gabriel Efo, Uyo
Akwa Ibom stakeholders have expressed apprehension over recent killings and destruction of property in most South-South region communities due to activities of cattle herdsmen, urging the Nigeria Police (NP) to stop the menace.
The stakeholders, who spoke yesterday during an interactive session with the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Emmanuel Inyang, also urged the police and other security agencies to bring lasting solution to the lingering boundary dispute between Oku Iboku clan in Akwa Ibom and its neighbouring Ikot Offiong community in Cross Rivers State.
President of Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Nduesso Ekwere condemned the recent attack of communities in Delta State by herdsmen, that led to loss of lives and property, adding that something should be done to check the herdsmen.
On his part, paramount ruler of Ibeno Local Government Area, and Chairman, Traditional Rulers Council, Effiong Archianga, who demanded that kidnappers and child abductors should be killed once arrested, however, urged the DIG to look into the communal clash between Oku Iboku in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and Ikot Offiong in Cross Rivers State. Paramount Ruler of Itu, Edet Akpaninyang lamented that over 200 of his subjects died in the dispute, identifying inaccessibility by road to the affected communities as a challenge during attacks.
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 said the purpose of his visit to the zone was to interact with the various stakeholders to enhance security. He allayed the people’s fear over herdsmen attack as efforts were in place to check the menace in the country
On cultism, he said: “It is unfortunate that we have cultism in Akwa Ibom. I am very surprised. The command should liaise with stakeholders to ensure cultists are fished out.”