Okon Bassey in Uyo
Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has waded into the cult and militant crisis rocking Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun Local Government Areas of the state.
Recently, the state government outlawed over 33 cult groups in the state just as not fewer than 59 sponsors of cult activities were identified or named by the security operatives,
The state assembly decided to wade into the crisis following the lingering of the cult war in the two council areas for the past three years which has resulted in the death of no fewer than 50 persons, many kidnapped with several armed robbery incidence in the state.
Worried by the development which appears to have defied all security architecture or antidotes, a member representing Etim Ekpo\Ika in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Gabriel Toby, decided to table the matter at the plenary of the assembly as matter of urgent public important.
â€œA 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,â€ he lamented.
According to him, the total collapse of security in his domain has given the criminals the free hand to overrun and loot the communities, stressing that the militants even burnt down a police van in a shootout.
At the sitting, members, including Hons. Aniekan Uko (Ibesikpo); Samuel Ufuo (Mbo); Otobong Jonathan (Ukanafun); Aniekan Bassey (Uruan); Nse Essien (Onna); Friday Iwok (Abak); Nse Ntuen (Essien Udim); Aniefiok Denis (Etinan) and Effiong Bassey (Oron\Udung Uko), were unanimous in condemning the crises.
Those who contributed, urged security agencies to work towards confronting the malaise with renewed vigour, and the state government to should show more than a passing interest in the problem to safeguard lives and property of the people.
Also, they called on the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to assist the displaced and the needy with essential items to cushion their problem.
The assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon Onofiok Luke, who presided over the session, said the primary duty of the government was to provide security for protection of lives and property of its citizens.
He urged the state government to be alive to its responsibilities and stop the carnage in Etim Ekpo and Ika council areas.