The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, has said the recent killings and attacks by Fulani Herdsmen, was a threat to agricultural development in the state.
The House at Plenary on Thursday, while condemning the murder of one Lucky Udoakpan and destruction of properties in Ukanafun Local Government Area by herdsmen, also said the situation was a threat to peace and security in the state.
Member representing Ukanafun State Constituency, Hon. (Dr) Charity Ido, in a Motion on Wonton Destruction of Properties and Murders by Herdsmen in Ukanafun and other parts of the state, brought before the House, revealed that Fulani Herdsmen, last week, invaded farmlands at Nkek Village in the area, killing one of her Constituents. She recalled that similar incident occurred in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, recently, adding the situation may grow worse, if left unchecked.
She prayed the House to come up with measures to prevent the situation from degenerating into communal clashes, economic hardship and sexual harassment. On his part, the member representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon Aniekan Uko, while describing the situation as a red alert for Akwa Ibom State and a challenge to the state government’s agricultural revolution, urged the House to take steps that will prevent a reoccurrence.
“The Governor is saying that everyone should return to the farm, but we’re afraid of doing so, because of the activities of herdsmen. I urge the House to there take actions that will prevent a reoccurrence”, he said. Also, the member representing Itu State Constituency, Hon. Kufre-abasi Edidem, said the killing spree by herdsmen was a challenge to the 7th Assembly to enact a law that prohibits open grazing by the hardsmen.
The Member representing Oruk Anam State Constituency and Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian, urged the House should make a Law that legislate the movement of animals in the state and also engage families of the victims and the State Emergency Management Committee to find lasting solutions to the issue which he said is statewide.
Member Representating Ika/Etim Ekpo state Constituency, Hon. Mfon Idung, his colleague from Ibiono Ibom State Constituency, Hon. Godwin Ekpo, also sympathised with the people of Ukanafun on the sad situation. Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, thereafter the motion was referred to the Committee on Security, Youths and Sports and directed it to report back to the House in the next one month.
Also, the House in a Motion brought before it by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Felisha Bassey, moved to revive the Calabar-Oron Ferry Route, to ease transportation between Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State. Similarly, the Member representing Etinan State Constituency, Rt. Hon.
(Barr.) Aniefiok Dennis, made a case for the reconstruction of the collapsed bridge at Ikot Mfon to Prevent further loss of lives and suffering of Etinan people. Both Motions were referred to the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission and Works. At Plenary also, the Appropriation Bill for the year 2020, scaled through Second Reading.
Meanwhile, the House has adjourned its plenary to Tuesday, October 15th, 2019 at 10am.
Written by Uwakmfon Dan!
(Uwakmfon Dan is a Journalist and Public Affairs Analyst based in Akwa Ibom State.)