Akwa Ibom State Government has waded into the communal clashes between Okopedi and Amamong in Okobo Local Government Area, urging the warring communities to live in peace
The State Government also distributed relief materials worth millions of naira to the victims.
Similarly, several communities recently displaced on account of cult-related crises in Inen clan of Oruk Anam Local Government Area have also been urged to return to the path of peace, and contribute their quota to the building of a peaceful society.
The State Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo who made the call at Okobo and Oruk Anam at the weekend, said it was necessary for the warring communities to sheathe their swords and tolerate one another for peace to reign in the areas.
Ekpo stressed that with the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic already taking its toll on the economic fortunes of the state, it would be irresponsible for communities which hitherto lived together to resort to wanton destruction of properties and available social amenities.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Nkopuruk Ekaiko, the Deputy Governor commended the efforts of the Okobo Council Chairman, traditional rulers, security operatives and religious leaders in restoring peace to the area.
While appealing to the two communities to give peace a chance, he reminded them that no tangible development could thrive in an atmosphere of chaos and war, warning that the state government would no more send relief materials to any community which engages in what he called “man-made disaster”.
“It is erroneous for government to intervene in man-made disasters because already it is spending too much in the fight against the Covid-19 virus and no community should add to the burden of government”, Ekpo stated.
He added: “learn to live in peace with one another if you do so, the development will come to the area and businesses will thrive.”
The Council Chairman of Okobo, Dr Sylvester Attah warned that nothing could be gained from war or communal clashes, noting that it was senseless destroying the few available social amenities when the local government was already in lack of infrastructure.
Attah, while appealing to the youths in the warring communities to stop the fighting, warned that anyone fomenting trouble again in the area would be dealt with decisively and made to face the full weight of the law.
He expressed appreciation to the state government for the prompt intervention in the matter and response with the relief materials and pledged to distribute them equitably to the affected persons.
The Paramount Ruler of Okobo-Edidem Ita Okokon 111, thanked the state government for the swift intervention, stating that they were working tirelessly to ensure that peace is restored and sustained in Okobo.
He disclosed that already a traditional injunction had been placed on the disputed land and thanked the government for the relief materials.
The Youth President of Okopedi Okobo, Ekpenyong Ekpenyong who explained that Okobo had always been peaceful before the unfortunate incident, assured the state government and people of Okobo that peace would be restored and sustained in the area.