By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Police Command has called on waring villages of Enwang and Uko Nteghe in Mbo Local Government’ Area of the state to cease from carrying arms against their fellow kinsmen and allow peace to reign in the area.
Police in a statement on Thursday issued by its Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko MacDon also called on the political class and other stakeholders in the state to intervene in the crises.
MacDon who in the statement said the command as an agency was aware of the crises crisis rocking the two communities, however added the commissioner of police, CP Amiengheme Andrew has deployed more policemen to dominate the affected area s until normalcy is restored.
His words, “All parties must as a matter of urgency, for the good of the inhabitants and the state at large, sheaths their swords and give peace A chance to prevail”.
Enwang and Uko Nteghe villagers of Mbo had on this week Tuesday launched a violent attack on each other over a disputed farmland, causing various degrees of unconfirmed casualties in both human lives and property.
An alleged reports said, five persons have been killed while others maimed with many fleeing away from the affected villages since the renewed hostility begun.
According to Effiong Etim, a source from a neighbouring village, the land dispute has been a long standing one, which normally erupts during the planning season.
He explained that the land in dispute, Uko Akai, is a farmland cultivated by indigenes of the community now residing in both Enwang and Uko Nteghe communities, but has now been extended to other lands.
Etim stated that the land which is usually allowed to fallow for five years is due for cultivation this year, adding that some youths instigated the crisis.
“Uko Akai is the farm land under dispute and no houses are there. But now the crisis has spread to other boundary lands not owned by Uko Akai. In fact, that particular land is mostly owned by my community, Uyi Akai.
“This year the land will be cultivated because it is allowed to fallow and planted after every five years, but this time it has spilled into seven years because of the crisis.
“The process of planting the land portion owned by Enwang is the cause of the current crisis. I don’t know the actual origin of this current dispute.
“Uko Nteghe and Ewang communities have been living together and are part of Uda. The crisis is instigated by the youths. Ewang has been cultivating the bigger part of the land over the years apart from the one they struggled with Uko Akai, they are using this opportunity to claim the land.
“I learnt two persons have so far died but it has not been confirmed,” he said.