By Assam Abia.
The Ekid People’s Union, EPU, in an exigency stakeholders meeting held at the palace of the Paramount Ruler of Eket, on December 7, 2021, offered more clarification on the purported quit notice said to have been issued to BUA Group, operators of BUA refinery by some youths. The Stakeholders held that the said press conference merely drew the attention of the investors to the true land owners, with a proviso that serious investors must deal with the host community or reconsider their investments.
In a release signed by Dr Samuel Udonsak, EPU National President, Hon (Barr) Bassey Dan Abia, National Secretary, Chief Nduese Essien, for Eket LGA stakeholders, Elder Benjamin Udobia, for Esit Eket stakeholders, and Edidem E. C. D. Abia, Paramount Ruler of Eket, the Ekid people said that,
“Ekid people, vested with the true, lawful, and legitimate historical facts about the areas of land in question (Akoiyak), hereby endearingly invigorate all manners of investors (local and foreign), particularly BUA Group, Ibom Deep Seaport, to come and invest by, near, or within the confines of our coastality”
“Specifically, no form of threats, quit notice or acts of deterrence (if any) have been issued from any quarters to BUA Group or any other interested investors or developer except an advice to recognize the host community”,
“Ekid People’s claim to the land has merit, is bold and credible. We are therefore not afraid that in due course the ownership of the land would be decided in our favour. If investors are chased away, we would have cut our nose to spite our face. The Ekid people know more than this”,
“Ekid people are the most peace-loving coastal-line communities ever in human history”.
Further, the release stated that, “with confidence on available documentary reports, the Ekid people rely on historical facts and court judgments (from 1916 to date), unminding of varying, diversified statements of claims and counter-claims in respect of Stubbs Creek forest reserve known as “Akoiyak’.
“Ekid people hereby earnestly urge our visionary and far-sighted Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel to notice and stir up courage among investors to begin to embrace our areas of land as their industrial hub without fear of any threat from any quarter”.
The Ekid people urged indigenes and residents to continue to remain in peace, in order to attract investors and bring about industrial development while a lasting solution to all conflicting boundary concerns are being worked out.
As if sounding a warning, the Ekid People’s Union called for a coordinated approach to information dissemination to the public, especially concerning Akoiyak and its associated boundaries and other sensitive matters in Ekid land.
“EPU upholds with honour its leaders over the expression of interest, concerns, complaints, and several aggregate of compliments with a view to improve quality of life from various quarters on the development of Ekid Nation”
“We hereby earnestly supplicate our unalloyed support to our Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel on his completion agenda and encourage him to leave an endearing legacy in Ekid land and Akwa Ibom State at large” the release stated, while congratulating him on his well deserved peace award for silent achievers, in Rwanda, as one of the outstandingly industrious individuals in Africa in 2021.