Suspected militants sack fishing communities in Akwa Ibom

Posted by Idongesit Ashameri | 20 July 2017 | 1,510 times

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•Militants enroute an operation.

A recent attack by suspected militants and sea pirates around some fishing communities in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has left scores of people dead and several others displaced.

The incidence, described by locals as “perennial” occurred in the riverine communities of Uruan including Akwa Akpa Uruan, Ebiet Ette and the adjoining community of Ayadeghe in Itu Local Government Area.

Drawing his colleagues’ attention to the ordeal suffered by his people, the member representing Uruan in the House of Assembly, Aniekan Bassey, said properties worth millions of naira were destroyed while dozens were either missing or killed during the attack.

He regretted that the attack has adversely affected the means of livelihood of the people as fishing gears including outboard engines, boats, cash and other valuables were carted away by the invaders allegedly from neigbouring Creek Town, Ikot Offiong and Ikoneto in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Presenting a bill for a law against such excesses, the lawmaker appealed to members for accelerated deliberation and passage of the bill in view of the current travails of his people.

Bassey, who lamented that the invaders also razed down the only primary school in the community, thereby disrupting teaching and learning and the future of the young ones said, “We also want the state government to quickly intervene by erecting the internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) camp to give succour to the helpless riverine dwellers badly affected by the problem.”

He also made a case for the deployment of gunboat and other security infrastructure along the Ikoneto axis of Akwa Ibom/Cross River waterways to curb the frequency of cross border attacks.

To safeguard the fishing ports, the Uruan lawmaker appealed for a standby marine police post to be established at the Ishiet beach and other waterfronts within Akwa Ibom territorial waters.

Corroborating the appeal, the Transition Committee Chairman, Uruan Local Government Area, Edwin Okon, lamented that his people in the fishing communities have suffered untold hardship by the militants who always cross into Akwa Ibom through the waterways.

“We have lost countless number of people to these militants and we want government and other agencies including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to come to the aid of the displaced people,” he said.

When contacted on phone, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in-charge of the area, Supol Sunday Effiong, confirmed the incident, describing the security situation in the area as “pathetic”.

Effiong said the matter has not been officially filed by the people of the area, but expressed concern that a security challenge of such magnitude would need serious collaborative measures.

Also commenting on the issue, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Chukwu Ikechukwu, said that failure on the part of the community to file the matter with the police in the area was hampering investigation and action on the problem.

The PPRO, therefore, advised members of the public to always volunteer information on crimes and criminal elements to security agencies for prompt action. (Independent)

Source: News Express

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