Esit Eket Council Boss Berates AKSG Over Ekid-Ibeno Boundaries Dispute

..says BUA must negotiate with landlords before commencing operation on the land

  • Unwana Assam

The Council Chairman of Esit Eket LGA, Hon. Iniobong Robson has expressed displeasure on the Akwa Ibom State Government for being apathetic over the lingering boundaries dispute between Ekid and Ibeno LGA in the State.

The council boss stated this In strong terms on 20th September, 2022 during Ekid People’s Union Press Conference at the Union’s Secretariat, Ikot Ibiok, Eket LGA, Akwa Ibom State, in reaction to the false claims by Ibeno people and the Council Chairman, High Chief William Mkpah that Esit Eket and Eket local government areas are none littoral areas.

Baring his mind on the striking issues, Mr. Robson made it known that it is not Ibeno people nor William Mkpah that are the reason why the issue where judgment was long served since 1918 by the Privy Council in the UK has not been solved till now, but the Akwa Ibom State Government. He pointed out that the reason why the State government has refused to step in to arrest the situation by implementing the order of the Supreme Court Council, is that the government is feasting on it, hence the reason they have been indifference about the lingering crises between the three LGAs.

He wondered why the government had decided to remain silent and incurious over a case that has both the legal and ancestral backings and watch Ibeno Council boss, Chief Mkpah constituting a public nuisance, always attempting to claim what does not belong to them. He, therefore, described it as unfortunate and injustice against Ekid people.

“I stand here to tell us that the problem is neither Ibeno nor William Mkpah because it’s not within the power of a local government chairman to create or determine the map of a state. If it were so, as the chairman of a local government, I would have done it long ago. Is not within the powers of a local government to establish a village or to delist one. If it were so, I would have done it for us without gathering people here to talk about it. The problem we have is the government of Akwa Ibom State”, Mr. Robson opined.

The council boss made it clear that although he is serving under the State Government as the local government council chairman, he must always stand for, and say the truth. He reiterated that the problem between the warring LGAs is no other person than the Akwa Ibom State Government, right from the Military era, to the current government, and that all of them are in the conspiracy against Ekid nation.

According to him “The problem is the government, from the military era to the current state government. The government has decided to feast on this issue that’s created by Ibeno people because Stubbs Creek is the most feasible piece of land anyone can think of in Nigeria.”.

The ALGON boss further disclosed that the government, including the Ministry of Justice, have all the documents showing Ekid as the authentic owners of the land, and they know the fact and truth, yet they don’t want to do anything about it, even though the Governors may not be lawyers to understand boundary issues documents, but the Ministry of Justice is there to advise the government on legal matters.

Mr. Robson also frowned at how over 753 hectares of Ekid land has been given to BUA, stating that being a private company, the right thing they should have asked BUA to do is to come and negotiate with the owners of the land for a lease instead, they are talking about compensation which is an insult to Ekid, the owner of the land.

“Whoever knows BUA should go and tell them that they must come, meet and negotiate with the elders of Ekid for a lease of that land otherwise, we will go to court and stop them from using the land. The manner Ekid people are treated in this case is not fair. Go and tell the world that our problem is the state government. Whoever that’s benefiting from that land should go and do it in his own community. I want to assure you that we will challenge anybody, so far that person is not God the creator, whoever such person is that will enter that land to do anything, we will be in court with such person” Robson expressed.

It could be recalled that, Mr. Williams Mkpah recently claimed the ownership of the land where ExxonMobil is located during an interview with pressmen in his office in Ibeno, saying, Ekid does not have a share there and that they have ceased to be oil-producing areas when they (Ibeno) were detached from the Old Eket while Eket LGA also lost their oil-producing status when Ibeno was removed from them. Mkpah therefore, opined that for Eket, Onna, and Esit Eket to be littoral, they must buy into some parts of Ibeno which would involve a long process before Ibeno can be annexed into them and that would also be dependent on Ibeno.

Wisdom Bassey

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