Akwa Ibom and Cross River State Houses of Assembly have jointly set up a six-man ad-hoc committee to resolve the over 100 years boundary skirmishes between Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State and Odukpani local government area of Cross River State.
Both Houses of Assembly took the decision to set up the committee at a Joint Sitting held Thursday, October 19, 2017 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital to mark the silver jubilee of the inception of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly
At the plenary, a member representing Odukpani state constituency of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. Bassey Akiba moved a motion for the need of a joint committee to be set up to look into the crisis, and the motion was seconded by Mr. Ime Okon, Ibiono Ibom state constituency of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
In his motion, Akiba posited that before the creation of Akwa Ibom in 1987 from Cross River, the two communities were living in peace and harmony as one.
He decried the senseless killing of people and loss of properties worth billions of naira due to the boundary conflict between the people of Ikot Offiong in Cross River and Oku Iboku in Akwa Ibom.
The lawmaker who attributed the conflict between the two communities to youth unemployment, called on state governors of the two states to create industries in the warring communities to reduce the youth restiveness.
Contributing, the deputy leader of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Ime Okon urged the federal government to apply its machinery to put a stop to the boundary crisis.
Okon who represents Ibiono Ibom state constituency stressed the need for security agencies to take adequate measures to safeguard the two communities from further hostilities.
Akwa Ibom and Cross River people, he said were all from one stock and creation of state meant for development stressing the need for the two communities to live in peace with each other.
On his part, a member representing Nsit Atai, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Mark Esset urged the two Houses of Assembly to rise and condemn the hostilities in the two communities.
He attributed the conflict between the two communities to hunger; adding that states government should rise up to their responsibilities and provide jobs for the youth.
In his submission, a member representing Calabar-south state constituency, Mr. Okon Ephraim called for enlightenment of the two communities on the need to stay together as one people.
He equally demanded improved security in the boundary area and urged the National Emergency Management Agency and State Emergency Management Agency to provide relief materials to the victims.
In line with the motion, the Speaker Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke, inaugurated a six man ad-hoc committee and urged the committee to report back in the next joint sitting in Cross River.
Members of the committee included, Mr. Bassey Akiba, Cross River and Mr. Ime Okon, deputy leader and member Ibiono Ibom as Co-Chairman.
Other members include, Mr Okon Ephraim, Calabar South, Mr. Efa Esua, Calabar Municipality and Mr. Idongesit Ituen, member representing Itu state constituency and Unyime Benson as Secretary.
A House Leader in Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, Mr. Udo Keriean, moved the motion for the need of the country to entrench true federalism in the Nigerian constitution.