By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom Government has warned against the wanton destruction of lives and property by communities engaging in communal clashes across the state.
The State Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, gave the warning during a meeting over the boundary dispute between Uko Akpan Enwang and Uko Ntighe Uda villages in Mbo Local Government Area in Uyo on Wednesday.
Ekpo described the destruction of lives and property by warring communities as senseless, unwarranted and criminal.
He expressed displeasure over the rising spate of communal crises across the state.
The deputy governor cautioned that government would not fold its arms and watch communities take laws into their hands.
According to him, government will take over such disputed lands to put a stop to further destruction and use such lands to attract development to the areas.
“I called this meeting as a warning because you lose so much anytime you inflict yourself with crises.
“The little palliatives given by the State Government could have been used for more profitable things, and may never be enough to replace the things destroyed.
“Destroying lives and properties because of land which originally belongs to God and only held in trust by the government is wrong.
“We will rather take over the land and manage it, than leave it to be the reason for killings and destruction. An industry could be sited there for the interest of both communities,” Ekpo said.
The deputy governor commended the traditional rulers council for their efforts at resolving the matter.
He urged the traditional rulers to further engage all the parties involved and stakeholders in peaceful discussions, in order to arrive at a peaceful resolution.
Ekpo appealed to all the youths of the of warring communities to remain peaceful and law abiding as lasting solution was being brokered.
He charged the security agencies to step up efforts and ensure that the disputed parcel of land does not become the trigger for further breakdown of law and order in the area.
Earlier, the Council Chairman of Mbo Local Government, Mr Asuquo Eyo, said the conflict has become perennial.
Eyo said the level of destruction in the communities during the recent crises was disheartening.
He commended the efforts of the state government and traditional rulers council for the prompt intervention.
The council chairman appealed for security to be beefed up in the area to avoid reoccurrence of the unfortunate incident.
The Paramount Ruler of Mbo, HRM, Ogwong Okon Abang, described the warring communities as brethren expressed disappointment at the level of destruction of lives and properties.
Abang appealed to the state government to come to the aid of the affected persons by way of sending palliatives and security to the area.