…Allegation of my administration’s link with hoodlums balderdash, spurious, unfounded – ALUKO
…Says I should be commended for exposing hoodlums in Essien Udim
A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abom Ephraim Okon has commended the Chairman, Essien Udim Local Government Council, Mr Anthony Luke (ALUKO) for demonstrating proactive leadership in handling the recent security breaches in the area.
Abom Okon, who is APC leader in Okon Ward in Essien Udim, gave the commendation when he paid solidarity visit to the Chairman at his country home, Okon Clan.
He also lauded the Chairman for running the most transparent and inclusive administration, adding that as the Chairman of Essien Udim Local Government Area, ALUKO is the leader of all Essien Udim people despite political affiliations.
Abom Ephraim Okon who is also the Country Representative of US Population Media Center, Nigeria, thanked the Council Chairman for ensuring that normalcy and sanity returned to the area and also taking good care of the displaced persons from the affected communities.
He noted that the Chairman’s pragmatic and proactive leadership has helped to quell the situation and stop it from escalating to a full blown crisis and unrest, asserting that it is wrong for anyone to politicize the recent security breaches in the area as the devastating effects of insecurity know no political party or religious inclination.
The CEO, Enviovic Nigeria Limited pledged his unalloyed support and partnership towards the sustenance of the gains made so far for the development of the area and called on the youths to embrace peace and join hands with the council chairman who is also a young man to develop the area as no sustainable development can take place in an atmosphere of insecurity.
While thanking the Bishop of Ikot Ekpene Catholic Diocese, Dr Camillus R Umoh and the entire Catholic community, Abom Okon added that such is Christianity in action.
Responding, the Council Chairman, Mr Anthony Luke thanked Abom Ephraim Okon for the visit and for his sense of sportsmanship and brotherhood and patriotism
Luke restated his reolve to continue to work for the common good of all Essien Udim people as their Chairman despite political ideology and reiterated that his administration is committed to a peaceful and crime free Essien Udim for socio-econonic activities to take thrive in the area.
The chairman described as balderdash, spurious, unfounded and of no effect allegations that his administration and youths loyal to him are linked to the crisis.
“The current administration has since inception shown serious commitment and determination to ensure security of lives and property in the area by giving all the security formations in the area the necessary support to boost their morale such as provision of two motor cycles to the Police Division for surveillance in the rural areas; construction of a borehole in the police station and other incentives; purchase of a generating plant for men of the Nigerian Army manning the boundary between Abia State and Akwa Ibom State at Ikot Umo Essien,” the chairman stressed.
The Chairman posited that the present administration of the local government inherited a porous security situation in the area, noting that he should rather be commended for exposing those behind the security breaches and also disimantling the hoodlums by flushing them out of their hideout.
The Council helmsman added that the recent predicament in Essien Udim should not be politicized, rather all hands should be on deck towards addressing the security situation in the area as against any blame games and politicking.
“I cannot understand why any individual or group should feel that my administration should be fighting to destroy security formations which are partners to the success of government. That is not logical at all,” the chairman asserted.
It could be recalled that hoodlums initiated a rampage against security formations in Essien Udim Local Government Area on February 22, 2021 as they attacked a police patrol personnel and their vehicle stationed at Ikpe Annang junction, along Ikot Ekpene – Uyo Road.
They wrecked havoc on the Nigerian Customs personnel at Nsasak junction, along Aba – Ikot Ekpene Road and later progressed to sack the Essien Udim Divisional Police Station at Nto Nsek in a well-coordinated and unprovoked attack.
The situation had since degenerated into a largely insecure environment for lives and property across Essien Udim Local Government Area as some residents have either lost their lives, seriously wounded or have been displaced from their original homes, particularly at Ikot Akpan, Ikot Afanga, Nto Nsek, Ukana Uwa villages and the adjoining communities.
In the course of investigating this sad development, perpetrators of these acts have been traced to a hideout in Ikot Akpan village in Ukana West 1 Ward, mostly comprised of people from outside Akwa Ibom State, who are said to have been resident there since 2017 and indulged in various forms of criminalities over the years, hence their current systematic attacks have been rehearsed and perfected following their effective knowledge and grip of the environment.
Reports have it that hoodlums have launched similar attacks on security facilities in many states of the country such as Rivers, Imo, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River, Anambra among others burning down police stations, vehicles and also carted away arms and ammonitions as well as killing and maiming security personnel.
Against this background, observers have called on the Federal Governments to wake up to her responsibilities to tackle the prevalent insecurity situation bedeviling the country to avert a repeat of similar crisis in Essien Udim and other areas from spreading to other parts of the state.
Credit: Edidiong Idemokon