Akwa Ibom state assembly has waded into the two year old cult related crisis in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo areas of the state regretting the inability of security agencies to restore peace in the troubled area.
This is after many months of incessant cult killings, kidnappings and armed robbery had rendered thousands homeless with scores dead.
The problem, which appeared to have defied all security antidotes, has forced the member representing Etim Ekpo/Ika in the State House of Assembly, Mr Gabriel Toby, to take the matter before the 26-member Assembly, under “matter of urgent public importance”.
“A lot of my people in Etim Ekpo, have been displaced from their homes because of wanton killings, kidnappings, armed robbery and other violent crimes. Several of them are in the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps, while some fled to safer destinations.” He submitted.
He pointed out that the total collapse of security architecture in his domain, has given the criminals the free hand to overrun and plunder the communities, disclosing that “the militants even burnt a Police van in a shootout”.
Lawmakers who contributed in the matter were of the opinion that security agencies have not done enough to dislodge the militants from their hideouts scattered in different forests within and outside the two local governments.
They, therefore, urged security agencies to work towards confronting the malaise with renewed vigour and the State government to show more than a passing interest in the problem to safeguard lives and properties of the people.
They also called on the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, and other Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs, to assist the displaced and the needy with essential items to cushion their problem.
House Speaker, Barr Onofiok Luke, who presided over the session however committed the matter to the Committee on Youths, Sports and Security for “investigation and appropriate recommendations” on how to find a lasting solution to the problem.
The Committee chaired by Hon. Victor Udofia (Ikono), according to the Speaker’s brief, is expected to submit findings to the House within one month.
It would be recalled that worried by the lingering crises, traditional rulers of Etim Ekpo, had petitioned the Inspector General of Police, asking for security protection as the militants have killed over 50 persons and burnt several houses in the last two years.
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