No fewer than 9,000 persons have been rendered homeless and 1,200 houses destroyed in communal clashes between the Udung Okung and Ukpata Afaha Eduok communities in Oron Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The clashes have lingered for the past 11 years.
Irked by the development, the state government has warned that it would not hesitate to take over the disputed land which had caused the protracted crises in the area.
Chairman of Oron Local Government Council, Mr. Orman Esin, who disclosed this when the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, visited the warring communities at the weekend, lamented that the 11-year-old war had destroyed the economic and social life of the affected areas.
He however expressed delight that with the state government’s efforts, peace had begun to return to the communities.
Esin appealed for the release of the government’s White Paper on the clashes and called for support for the development of road network in the communities and fishing boats and canoes as well as soft loans for the residents.
The deputy governor said that government at both the federal and state levels had donated relief materials between 2009 and 2011 to victims of the crisis and urged the warring communities to sheathe their swords.
“Let me reiterate here that to think hatred and fight in today’s Akwa Ibom State is to live in the past; we are now in an era of peace and development. I would therefore appeal that we should remember that peace is the only battle worth waging because it precedes and gives rise to development.
“Let us sweat in peace and not bleed in war. We are known for peace, and we have to re-launch our society to that age-long track of honour and progress.”
“While government is ready to give the needed support where necessary for us to have a peaceful state, I urge you to continue to maintain and sustain the peace in your area to promote brotherliness,” Ekpo said.


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