The Executive Chairman of Okobo Local Government Area, Hon. Dr. Sylvester Attah has conducted members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Boundary and Conflict Resolution to affected scenes in Amamong and Okopedi villages.
The lawmakers visited the area, Monday, to perform an on-the-spot assessment, to ascertain the damages sustained while the conflict lasted.
Welcoming the committee members who were on oversight duties, Hon. Attah lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel, whose swift intervention through the Deputy Governor and the Commissioner of Police, helped in mitigating tension during the crisis.
The Council helmsman also recounted concerted efforts made by the local government and traditional rulers to curb violent attacks and restore normalcy.
“Our administration has made several moves to quell the crisis through meetings and visits with, and to the affected communities. We earlier set up a fact-finding committee to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the crisis,” he said.
“A few days ago, the acting Chairman of Eta Clan Council, Chief Ekpenyong Ntekim led other elders of Okobo to meet with the chiefs, youths, and opinion leaders from both communities.
“At the end of the meeting, an MOU was signed by the two villages, agreeing to embrace peace and work together in ensuring the reopening of the popular Comprehensive Secondary School, Okobo which had shut down for months, following the crisis,” Attah narrated.
He further expressed the belief that the outcome of Monday’s visit by the State legislators would strengthen peaceful coexistence between Okopedi and the Amamong people.
In his remark, Chairman of the House Committee and Member representing Mbo State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Effiong Johnson applauded the Attah led administration and the traditional ruling class for their impressive measures in managing the crisis.
Hon. Johnson explained the purpose of the visit and delivered condolence messages on behalf of the Speaker AKHA to families of those who lost their lives and properties to the Communal Clash.
According to the assemblyman, the state government had resolved to “deal decisively with any person or group that will attempt to violate the prevailing peace in the area.”
He however advised traditional chiefs and youth leaders from both communities to restrain their subjects from further aggression, warning that the government will prosecute and revoke the certificate issued to any traditional ruler or youth president who is caught inciting violence.
The delegation toured both villages, assessing vandalized homes, business centers, and other damaged assets.
Part of the delegation was Vice Chairman of the Committee and Okobo State Constituency representative, Rt. Hon. Felicia Bassey; Member Ini State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong; Member, Essien Udim State Constituency, Hon. Barr. Esse Umoh; Member, Mkpat Enin State Constituency, Hon. Victor Ekwere; Member, Nsit Ibom State Constituency, Hon Ifiok Udoh, and the Committee Clerk, Pastor Effiong.
The visit was also witnessed by the Local Government Vice Chairman, Hon. Asukwo Koffi, Okobo Paramount Ruler, HRM Edidem Ita Okokon, the Leader, Okobo Legislative Council, Hon. Anthony Uya and the Council Secretary, Mr. Patrick Oyoh.
Also present was the Head of Local Government Service, clan and village heads, honourable councillors, supervisors, as well as security chiefs and youth leaders.