The people of Ariam-Usaka in Ikwauno Local government Area of Abia State have protested the incessant killing of its indigenes over a land dispute between the community and Nkari community in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The communities which share boundaries with Akwa Ibom State claim that it has suffered setbacks for some time now over a land dispute.
A source who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said that efforts made so far by people of Ariam-Usaka to stop the attacks on their community have not yielded any result, saying the government not showing enough commitment in bringing a lasting solution to the ugly incident.
Our correspondent confirmed that the bodies of some of the indigenes of Ariam-Usaka killed by Nkari people are yet to be recovered due to the tension in the disputed area. This sparked a protest last Thursday in Usaka-Ukwu community by indigenes of Ariam-Usaka who turned out in large numbers, reminding the state government of her duty to protect lives and properties.
Reacting to the incident, the Acting Governor of the state, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, recently paid a visit to Usaka Ukwu community where the killings took place and assured them of government’s readiness and commitment to end the feud. He expressed deep worry over the killings and further stated that action will be taken to curtail the sad incident and bring a lasting solution to the crisis.
‘The government is committed to protecting lives and properties,’ he concluded.
The spokesman of the Abia State Command, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, noted that the police is doing everything to resolve the crisis.
FRCN had reported during the week that Ariam-Usaka, made up of nine autonomous communities, were under siege following a boundary dispute between them and their neighbouring communities in Akwa Ibom State.
Meanwhile, some indigenes of Usaka-Ukwu community have accused the state government of not putting enough effort to resolve the boundary disputes, stressing that if urgent steps are not taken, they will resolve to self-defence as they have already lost four persons.
They have also called for government’s intervention in the provision of a good road network and other basic social amenities, saying that the community has been neglected for a long time by successive governments.