By Odo Ogenyi,Uyo
Unyenge community in Mbo Local Council of Akwa Ibom has raised alarm over alleged moves by the State Government to cede its ancestral land to another community.
The community which is a part of Obolo nation, described the Map Establishment Bill, which was passed by the State Assembly last month as an attempt to extend some landlocked councils to the coastal area.
A statement signed by the Community Chairman, Chief Itama Ekpe; Secretary, Mr Kany Nkwobia, and the Public Relations Officer, Mr Bassey Ekpimah, in Unyenge and made available to newsmen on Tuesday condemned the government’s action.
The statement warned that by trying to cede Unyenge to a landlocked community, is silently calling for war between the community and its neighbours.
“There is a great cataclysm in Unyenge community, Mbo and the entire Obolo local government areas (LGAs) in Akwa Ibom State.
“Consequent upon the repugnant Map Establishment Bill being passed by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on April 13, 2023, seeking to extend some landlocked LGAs in Esit Eket, Eket, Onna, Mkpat Enin, and Ikot Abasi through the Obolo lands in Mbo, Ibeno, and Eastern Obolo LGAs being the littoral region of the state to the seashore.
“The people of Obolo Nation of which Unyenge is an integral component, denounce unreservedly this iniquitous, unprincipled, and legislative manoeuvre of the Akwa Ibom State Government to arrogate the ancestral land of Obolo to any community or local government area whatsoever under the guise of remapping.” It said.
The statement maintained that from the creation of Akwa Ibom in 1987, the Federal Government through the National Boundary Commission had carved out and precisely delineated both the external territorial borders and the internal geographical boundaries among all the local government areas that constitute the state.
“The boundaries are conspicuously depicted on the map of the state on the state’s website (www.akwaibomstate.gov.ng) and printed on all official documents, gubbins, and other formal instruments of the state.
“Surprisingly, it is quite hilarious and irrational to hear the Akwa Ibom State Governor Mr Udom Emmanuel lay claim to the non-existence of an official gazetted map of the state.
“The Akwa Ibom Governor has gone as far as expropriating power to himself and thereby breaching the rules of law, even as he shows no consideration to a Court Order given by a court of competent jurisdiction.” It stated.
The community therefore admonished public officers to refrain from engaging in any act of injustice, abuse of power to eschew fuelling antagonism, communal upheaval, social and economic instability.
“As much as we, the Obolo, are peace-loving people, we will not hesitate to invoke all legal tools and civil procedures to fight for the maintenance of our ancestral territory should the government proceed with this unreasonable and inconsiderate bill.” The statement concluded.