By Anietie Esu
The Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, SSG, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem yesterday, Monday, intervened in the face-off between Abiakowo and Utu-Udim Ebughu in Mbo Local Government Area over claims of ownership of beach in the area.
It was gathered that the crisis which had been on for days had led to destruction of some properties and spilling of blood in the area.
Addressing the warring factions at different locations in Ebughu, Dr Ekuwem charged them to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign.
The SSG himself an indigene of Mbo, said his intervention was to forestall further breakdown of law and order in the area, assuring that the village heads of Abiakowo, Eyo Oku and Utu Udim Ebughu and the youth presidents invited by the police for facts finding would be release.
Describing Mbo as the hottest spot for development, Ekuwem said the state government under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel was determined to finding a lasting solution to the problem.
He told the people of the community that only the truth could help government resolve the problem and appealed to the aggrieved people to see themselves as brothers rather than enemies. He advised them to shun any act capable of promoting violence.
“Ebughu are enlightened and educated people who love peace.We’ll ensure that peace return to your community.Be your brothers keepers and work as a team to prosper,” Ekuwem said.
According to him, a peace committee under the supervision of the Paramount Ruler of Mbo would meet with the warring factions to hear from them and make recomendations to the government on how lasting peace could be restored in the area.
The Paramount Ruler of Mbo, HRM Ogwong Okon Abang who doubles as the Clan Head of Ebughu and the Village Head of Etisong Ebughu, expressed displeasure over the conducts of the warring villages and stressed the need for harmonious coexistence among his people as they are from one stock.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Mbo Local Government Area, Rt Hon Asukwo Eyo enjoined the people to tow the line of peace and not war.
In their remarks, the Area Commander,Oron Area Police Command, ACP Ali Sarbi and the Divisional Police Officer,Mbo Division, John Abia appealed to the people to allow peace reign, warning that anyone found culpable of promoting crisis again would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Speaking separately, the people of Abiakowo and Utu Udim thanked the SSG for intervening in the face-off and prayed God to bless him.
They pledged their readiness to shun violence, uphold peace and expressed hope that the terms and conditions of government on the matter would be for the general wellbeing of the area.
Security personnel were seen on grounds maintaining law and order in the area.