Insecurity: Schools, Businesses Shutdown In A’Ibom …Udom Abandons Children, Focuses On Re-election …Ministries Paralyzed Over Failure To Appoint Commissioners


The high insecurity of lives and property of Akwa Ibom citizen especially those living in Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo and Ikot Ekpene has taken another dangerous dimension as schools have been completely shut down and business activities paralyzed.
This is as the future of the children is said to be bleak and their dreams of achieving their career thwarted.
It would be recalled that the activities of cultists, kidnappers, armed robbers, killers, and rapists in parts of the State have grounded schools (both public and private) in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo.
The two local government areas in particular are said to be criminal dens with State Government having little or no interest in securing the lives of the residents.
The hoodlums who have taken over the area abduct any person in sight while the worst hit are the primary school teachers.
It was gathered that while some victims are lucky to return home alive from the gang’s den to tell their bitter experiences, some are not so fortunate as they either died at the den or died shortly after their release as a result of shock and bitter experience.
A visit by our reporters to schools in the two local government areas, revealed that schools have been completely shut down with both teachers fleeing their homes for fear of being abducted.
It was also revealed that virtually all shops and business premises, markets and other socio-economic activities have been shut following abductions and letters demanding payment of certain amount of money or keep such money for one’s funeral ceremony.
Few residents of the affected areas told our reporters that the situation has been so bad such that people now lives in perpetual fear of when the hoodlums will strike.
They chided the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for not showing concern on the insecurity they are facing but is only interested in getting reelected for second term in office.
An indigene of Etim Ekpo who gave his name simply as Emmanuel, decried the recent killing of AKTC bus driver and burning of the vehicle while passengers who were lucky to escape with bullet wounds have bitter tales to tell.
Emmanuel equally feared the future of the innocent children who have been denied access to education while government monthly get security votes without providing security.
He called for declaration of State of emergency in the affected areas so that the hoodlums could be dislodged.
In a related development, staff in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Ministry of Investment, Commerce and Industry have decried non appointment of a substantive commissioner to man the affairs of the two ministries, many months after the offices were vacant.
It would be recalled that commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, Prof. Eno Ikpe died last year after a protracted illness.
A commissioner is yet to be appointed to replace her more than eight months after while the ministry is being supervised by Commissioner of Women affairs, Dr. Glory Edet who is said have much work in her ministry already.
Similarly, the sacking of the former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Udo Ekpenyong early this year, is also said to be creating vacuum in the ministry as activities in the ministry are said to have been paralyzed.
Some staff of the two Ministries who spoke with our correspondent said that nothing is working. They wondered why governor Udom Emmanuel has refused to appoint a substantive commissioner, saying that it is not in the best interest of government and staff.



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