Some members of the House of Representatives under the umbrella of Ijaw Legislators Forum have raised alarm over the alleged remapping of some local government areas in Akwa Ibom state, South-South region.
The remapping of the local government areas belonging to the people of the Ijaw extraction has led to threats to the livelihood of the Ijaw people in Akwa Ibom state.
This was disclosed during a briefing to the House Press Corps by Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante, lawmaker representing Opobo Nkoro Federal Constituency of Rivers State.
He said that several communities belonging to the Ijaws in Akwa Ibom State were being invaded.
The Group called on security agencies to give protection to the lives and properties of the Ijaws living, residing and doing business in Akwa Ibom State.
“They deserve the protection of the strong. In a democracy, the strong are obligated to protect and defend the weak. We have come crying and saying please, this should not happen to our people. It is against morality, it is against justice. It is also against the laws of our land. And if anyone takes the law into his hands, then definitely, that person should be told in clear terms that whatever he or she has done or is attempting to do remains illegal. We would not want to go into the details of litigations or no litigations. Those are issues that would be brought up at the point when the petition would be determined by the committee. What we have come here to do now is to sensitize the world that there is a threat to the livelihood of our people. As we speak, they are invading several communities that belong to the Ijaws in Akwa Ibom State. We also want to call on the security agencies to give protection to the lives and properties of the Ijaws living, residing and doing business in Akwa Ibom State” he said.
He also said that the remapping of local government areas in Akwa Ibom state has led to Ijaw lawmakers from Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers states submit a petition to the House yesterday.
According to Hon. Abiante, the action was allegedly conducted within a few days to the exit of the immediate past government against all regulations, and requirements.
“Our thinking is that with the passing of the Petroleum Industry Act, there are attempts by persons who don’t have any bearing with the oil exploration communities within the state to want to cease part of the land to qualify them as host communities. We are not bothered, we are not worried. The fact that the bulk of the resources accruing to Akwa Ibom State is derivable from the oil within the local government areas of the Ijaw Nation. Eastern Obolo, Ibeno and Mbo local government areas, we know are oil producing. We have come with the aspirations, the desires, the pains and the cries of our people to say NO! This should not be, given the Ijaws in Akwa Ibom State could be in the minority in the state, but they deserve the protection of the state, they deserve the protection of the Federal Government” he said.
The group added that any Ijaw man anywhere is an Ijaw man and cannot be forced to lose their identity.
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