The House of Representatives member for Abak\Etim Ekpo\Ika Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom state, Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, has accused Governor Udom Emmanuel of handling security crisis in parts of the state with kid gloves, disclosing that no fewer than 150 people including security agents have lost their lives in the crisis. He said this on Sunday in an interview in Uyo, the State capital, following the Governor’s visit to the area at the weekend – to give relief materials to the displaced residents of Etim Ekpo/Ukanafun.
Ekon described the action as belated, given the that “the crisis has seriously devastated the affected communities for over two years”. He expressed surprise that “the Governor, who had earlier ignored the early indications that the crisis could be politically arranged, has turned round to admit the involvement of politicians in the sponsorship of security infractions in the affected Local Governments”. He, therefore, challenged Emmanuel to name the sponsors if he was sincere in his utterances at the Utu Etim Ekpo secretariat, where he stated that the crisis were being sponsored.
“If the governor has suddenly realized that the crisis were being sponsored, he (the governor) should stop blaming the female folks in the area who he accused of secretly volunteering information to the militants to attack the communities, but should name those he said were the sponsors because, even if he mentioned me, I am prepared to face the Police. “He should not forget that this was the problem I took upon myself to fight a year ago, so if he has realized that the crises are being sponsored, then he should come up with the names, instead of coming to Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun to campaign with the relief materials under the pretext of sympathizing with the displaced people.
“I am not satisfied with the way the governor is handling security crises in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun because last year, I had a petition to my office by the affected communities. Because we were on recess, I had to instruct that the document be forwarded to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), who set up a committee to investigate and ensure lasting peace return to those places. “Unfortunately, those efforts did not see the light of the day because my brothers including the Local Government Chairman, Hon. Udeme Wilson Eduo and the PDP National Legal Adviser, Hon. Emmanuel Enoidem, deceived the governor to believe that such investigation was politically motivated; that there were no such security issues in my Local Government.
“What surprises me is that after one year that I took that action, the governor has suddenly realized that there are serious security crisis in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun. Because of the fact that the governor has continued to rely on these same group of people, we have not been able to achieve much in the ongoing war against insurgency in the affected areas.
“And just three days ago, the governor reluctantly visited the affected communities with trucks of relief materials and handed them over to the same politicians to share to the victims, without delivering them to the agonized and displaced persons. In fact, he did not come for the victims; he came to campaign with the materials for his re-election in 2019,” Ekon explained.
According to the lawmaker, who chairs the House of Representatives Committee on Local Contents, “if Udom was sincere, he would have taken the materials to the over 2,000 displaced persons at their IDP camp in Iwukem, instead of handing them to the politicians to share”.