By our Correspondent
The people of Usaka Ukwu community, in Ikwuano LGA of Abia State have expressed their gratitude to the member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Rep. Sam Onuigbo, for providing a lasting solution to the protracted conflict between the community and the people of Ibono Okporo, in Akwa Ibom State.
The sentiments of the community were conveyed to the Honourable Member, during a visit to his office, by the former Deputy Transition Committee Chairman of Ikwuano LGA and community leader of Usaka Ukwu community,Hon. Williams Ukatu.
Hon. Ukatu who stated that he had come in his capacity as a community leader in Usaka Ukwu community and at the behest of the Regent A.C.P Ezenkwe, said that the community is thankful for the prompt efforts of Rep. Onuigbo to address the conflict between them and their Akwaibom neighbours, and stated that the efforts are beginning to yield results. Such results, Hon. Ukatu highlighted include the stationing of a 15-man security detail of the Nigeria Police Force to Usaka Ukwu; the intervention of the Department of State Services(DSS); the visit of the 10-man Federal Government delegation from the National Boundary Commission and Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation who resolved, in conjunction with delegates from Abia State(led by the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Udo Oko Chukwu who doubles as the Chairman of the Abia State Boundary Committee), and Akwaibom State( led by His Excellency Mr. Moses Frank Ekpo MFR, Deputy Governor of Akwaibom State), that from November 14, efforts at properly delineating the boundaries for the two communities will be kickstarted to forestall further conflicts.
Recall that after a motion on the floor of the House of Representatives on July 14,2020, by Rep. Onuigbo, the House had mandated that security agencies step in to forestall further loss of lives while also instructing that the National Boundary Commission takes urgent steps to address the boundary issue which is the root cause of the conflict.
Hon. Ukatu who used the opportunity to extend the community’s appreciation to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and other members of the House, also called on Rep. Onuigbo to follow up with the House’s instructions to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, to urgently provide relief materials to the people of Usaka Ukwu as most of them have been displaced due to the conflict.
He used the opportunity to handover a letter from the Usaka Ukwu Development Union asking for Rep. Onuigbo’s support in erecting a Police post at Usaka Ukwu.
Responding, Rep. Sam Onuigbo stated that he will continue to work very hard to carry the concerns of his people since that has always been his priority as a leader. He promised to review the resolutions of the House and immediately follow up on some aspects of the resolution including but not limited to the provision of relief materials by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, which have not been implemented.
Rep. Onuigbo pointed out that apart from moving a motion on the Usaka Ukwu-Ibono Okporo issue and following up to see that the resolutions of the House are implemented, he had also been making other moves by the side to address the issue. One of such efforts was reaching out to the former Deputy Governor of Akwaibom State, and Senator representing Akwaibom North West Senatorial District(where Ibono Okporo falls under) asking him to take special interest in preventing further loss of life by reigning in those responsible. This, the Honourable Member followed up with several calls, eventually linking up Senator Ekpeyong with the Abia Deputy Governor who is in charge of the boundary issue in Abia.
On the building of a police station at Usaka Ukwu, the Honourable Member promised to get to work immediately, to see where such provision can be included in the National Budget as it is very important.
The Honourable Member thanked the Abia State Governor, His Excellency Okezie Victor Ikpeazu PhD, the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Udo Oko Chukwu, all officials of the State and LGA, and Community Development Union leaders, for the roles they have played in addressing the crisis, and promised to sustain collaboration and partnership with the State Government in all areas of security and human development.
He commended Hon. Ukatu for always providing leadership and charged him to convey his deep concerns and sadness to the people of Usaka Ukwu and let them know that he will continue to work hard for them.