By Bernard Tolani Dada Uyo
Three communities of Ibiono Ibom, Uruan and Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom has threatened to resort to self help and defend themselves if the continue killing of their kinsmen by the people of Ikot Offiong in Odukpani local Government area of Cross River state does not abate.
Dr. Ekom Demson, who spoke on behalf of elders and opinion leaders of the three communities at a press conference yesterday in Uyo said that barley two days after the National Boundary Commission organized a peace meetings with them and their counterpart in Cross River at the old toll gate of Itu bridge to explore prospect for a resolution of the boundary crises, youths of Ikot Offiong and hired mercenaries armed with sophisticated weapons attacked fishermen along the Itu river killing one Ifiok Ita Ekpo from Idu Uruan dispossessing them of their boats and fishing equipment’s.
Demson said that the warning became necessary considering the fact that these same people of Ikot Offiong attended the peace meeting where traditional rulers, youth groups and the Deputy Governors of both Akwa Ibom and Cross River also came and promised a ceasefire.
He explained that in may this year alone over seventeen armed mercenaries from Cross River state on a clandestine mission were arrested by men of the Nigerian Army at the same location with deadly weapons and two 50kg of ammunition but surprisingly released.
‘’We are not unmindful of the fact that key functionaries of Cross River origin both at the state and Federal levels are neck deep in the sponsorship of this mayhem being unleashed on the peace loving people of Akwa Ibom who engaged in lawful economic activities in their territory.
‘’We therefore appealed to the Federal Government through the national boundary commission to investigate and bring all those involved in the latest attack to book otherwise we will be left with no option than to resort to self defense’’ Demson stated.