Communities at war over prospective oil discovery

Ibom connectionToju Vincent

25 March 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos –
TWO Communities, Udung Okung and Afaha Eduok both in Oron in Akwa Ibom State are at war with each other over prospective oil discovery in the area.

The communal crisis has resulted in to the death of many indgenes and a number of houses also burnt in the process.

Disclosing this to the members of the Senate Committee who were on an oversight function, Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Mr. Joshua Okpo said that the fight between the communities was intense, adding that the Police was overwhelmed in their effort to quell the crisis

He told the Committee that the people of Afaha Eduok over ran the people of Udung Okung and chased them out of the community.

The Rector stated that in the management’s bid to arrest the situation, he had to construct a Police post right in middle of the community where the proposed oil discovery was sited.

Okpo explained that site of the oil discovery was also demarcated as the boundary of the communities so that none of them will lay claim as owners of the spot.

He also disclosed that over the years these communities have been part of the development of the academy adding that none of the indigene ever got admitted into the academy nor were they recruited for menial jobs inside the academy.

As at the time of filling this report, there was nobody in the Udung Okung side of the community as houses have been abandoned and weeds and grasses have taken over the entire place.

Commenting on the situation, Chairman of the Committee Hajia Zainab Kure commended the effort of the academy’s management, noting that it is when the surrounding communities are peaceful that the safety and security of the cadets can be guaranteed.

She however urged the the Rector and his management team to ensure that the indigenes are carried along in the terms of admission into the academy and recruitment for menial jobs in the institution.

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