Ekid People Demand World-Class Seaport

  • Affirm part ownership of the seaport land
  • Urge Ibom Seaport Implementation Board to ignore distractions.

The people of Ekid nation have challenged the Ibom Seaport managers to ignore unnecessary distractions and deliver “a world class port” that will be of benefit to all.

At a meeting between critical stakeholders and representatives of the Ibom Deep Seaport Implementation Board recently in Eket, the President of Ekid People’s Union (EPU) , Dr Sam Udonsak, also
assured the investors in the proposed Ibom Deep Seaport of utmost support, urging them not to be discouraged by “spurious, fictitious and provocative claims made by some parties to the ownership” of the proposed location.

He then commended the choice of location, which covers some portions of the ancestral land of the Ekid people like Okposo 1, Okposo 11, Itak Idim Ekpe, among others.
Recently, there has been renewed claims of exclusion or ownership of the land from some ethnic nationalities. However, Udonsak said: “ For the avoidance of doubt, the land is historically, legally, morally and so on, by every and any consideration the ancestral land of the Ekid people. It would remain so forever”.

Available facts and documents show that as far back as 1918, the Privy Council which was the highest appellate court in the British Empire declared that the present location of the Ibom Deep Seaport, which form what is generally known as Okoiyak, belonged to Ekid people. In 2003, the Federal High Court sitting at Uyo made a pronouncement in suit FHC/UY/C5/53/2003, affirming the 1918 Privy Council decision that the said land belong to Ekid.
However, Udonsak assured the Implementation Board that as a responsible people, EPU was more interested in the developmental impacts the seaport expectedly will bring to the entire state, hence would not join others trying to scare off the investors.

The EPU President endorsed the choice of the Ibom Seaport’s location, saying “it was arrived at after thorough and diligent considerations of the requirement for the port if that caliber”.

Udonsak urged the Implementation Board to adopt a constant dialogue approach with the host communities, including the people of Ekid nation.
The leader of the visiting team, Barr (Mrs) Mfon Usoro, appreciated the maturity of the Ekid people in reacting to an otherwise potentially volatile and sensitive issue as land ownership.
She assured the Ekid people that they will never be left behind and that the location for the seaport was carefully chosen after proper investigations and due diligence.

Wisdom Bassey

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