The people of Ekid nation, comprising Eket and Esit Eket local governments, as well as their Ibeno counterpart, have agreed that harmonious and peaceful living guarantee more mutual benefits to their people.
They also admitted that working together, the people of the two brotherly communities stand a better chance of getting their deserved dues from the oil and gas corporations, which tend to promote divide-and-rule tactics in order to exploit them.
The above formed part of the highlights of deliberations at a joint meeting of Ulok Ulok People’s Assembly (the highest socio-cultural body of Ibeno people) and the Ekid People’s Union (the apex socio- cultural organ of Eket and Esit Eket people) held on August 14, 2021 at True Value Hotel, Eket.
The inaugural meeting, which witnessed frank and sincere reflections, however stressed the need to sensitize the people on both sides of the divide on the imperatives of sustaining the age-long peace and brotherly living that have existed among them.
While future meetings will expand on the initial outlines, the leaders of the apex groups charged one another to drum into their people not to promote utterances and actions capable of dividing, instead of uniting the communities.
Realizing that the oil-bearing communities may have unwittingly been set against one another, while outsiders benefit from the oil proceeds to the detriment of the former, the meeting cautioned against further overt or covert hostilities between Ekid and Ibeno.
Consequently, the meeting frowned at Ibeno Chairman’s choice of words in his recent letter to the state government against Ekid nation, pointing out that while he reserves the right to his opinion, his tone was too provocative.
The meeting agreed that the major problem both communities have is with their boundary, arguing that the existing map was incorrect and misleading.
It was agreed that the solution to the issue of land ownership, boundary, etc, concerning the two peoples can be resolved internally and that stakeholders would meet to agree on them.
The purpose of seeking peace among themselves, it was noted, was so as not to scare away the investors who are expected to bring wider opportunities to all in Ibeno and Ekid nation.
The expected investors were therefore assured of peace, warmth, accommodation and cooperation from the host communities on arriving Ibeno or Ekid nation.