The alleged incessant attacks of Abia communities by their Akwa Ibom neighbours have become a source of serious worry to traditional rulers and stakeholders of the affected communities.
This dominated presentations at a town hall meeting of stakeholders and the Nigeria Police Force Committee on Communal Clashes/Crises held on Friday at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia.
Speaking at the forum on behalf of communities in Ndoki land, the Chairman of Ukwa East Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Ekeke Ekeabuchi, said communities in the border zone had been living in perpetual fears due to incessant and unprovoked attacks by their Akwa Ibom neighbours.
He said many lives and property worth million of naira had been lost in the communities during such raids.
While calling for the immediate intervention of the Federal Government for a permanent solution to the crises, the monarch warned that their assailants should not take their peaceful disposition as a sign of weakness.
He queried the desirability of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command in deploying its command’s personnel in Abia communities in the border areas despite that MOPOL 25 of the Nigeria Police had been established in the area to provide security to all at the troubled zone.
He accused the policemen deployed by Akwa Ibom Command of extorting money from his subjects, and called for their immediate withdrawal.
“The policemen sent by a DPO from Akwa Ibom should be withdrawn because they are inflicting pains on our people. The federal MOPOL should be in charge,” he added.
A community leader from the area, Pastor Chimezie, traced communal clashes and constant invasion of Ndoki communities by their Akwa Ibom neighbours to the “biased federal government boundary adjustment of 1985,” which he said unjustly ceded some Imo communities to Cross Rivers.
He said since then and upon creation of Abia State in 1991, Abia communities in the border land had been under attacks by their neighbours, arguing that the controversial boundary adjustment had worsened matters.
He called on the Federal Government to urgently review the exercise.
The cleric also called for the immediate removal of all signposts bearing Akwa Ibom State from Agriga Oru community, a border town he contended “is on Abia soil.”
He said, “Anyone in the community that wants to be administered by Akwa Ibom State should relocate from the community to Akwa Ibo.”
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