A’ Ibom Govt. cautions traditional rulers against igniting crisis

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The Akwa Ibom Government on Friday warned that it would deal decisively with any traditional ruler in the state who engaged in activities that could breach peace in their domain.

The Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, gave the warning in Uyo at a meeting with traditional rulers from Eastern Obolo and Ikot Abasi Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Ekpo expressed displeasure over repeated crises in the two local government areas over boundary.

He said that any of them found using his position to breach the peace enjoyed in the state would face the consequences.

According to him, such infraction will henceforth attract withdrawal of certificate of recognition from any traditional ruler found wanting.

He reminded them that in line with the extant laws, only paramount rulers were authorised to place a traditional injunction over land matters.

Ekpo said: “It is not right for the village head to place an injunction on any land without consulting the paramount ruler or following due process.

“An offended party must always exhaust the established procedure of making official reports to the local government chairmen and the paramount rulers.

“Do not to take the laws into your hands or run to the press to escalate crisis.’’

On matter of trespass between Iwofe village in Eastern Obolo and Okopedi in Ikot Abasi, Ekpo directed the two paramount rulers in the areas to take appropriate steps to resolve the issue.

He urged village heads, chiefs and clan heads to be guided by the interest of their people as that would ensure unity and peace in their domains.

Responding, the Paramount Ruler of Eastern Obolo, Ubon Etetor, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to express themselves on boundary disputes.

Etetor urged the state government to organise a seminar that would give proper orientation to the village heads on decision making and community administration.

On his part, the Paramount Ruler of Ikot Abasi, Udo Ntukobom, thanked the deputy governor for his interventions aimed at ensuring that peace reigned in the area.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Andrew Amiengheme, represented by ACP Baba Audu of Area Command, Eket, as well as the DPOs in the two LGAs, also attended the meeting.