In their avowed commitment and determination to see and end to the lingering boundary crisis that has engulfed communities of Odukpani in Cross River State and those of Itu in Akwa Ibom State, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and that of Cross River have unanimously set up a legislative committee that would look into the impasse.
The resolution which was sequel to a matter of urgent importance brought to the floor by the member representing Odukpani State Constituency, Mr. Bassey Akiba during a Joing Session by both Assemblies, urging the Houses of Assemblies to set up a legislative committee comprising of members from both Houses to look into the boundary issue which he said has led to the loss of lives and properties.
“Desire for State creation was to give rise to development. Now we have war, hate speeches and this gives to underdevelopment. Our responsibility is to protect lives as stated in our oath of office. It is our primary responsibility and we were elected to provide good leadership” he noted.
Also speaking on the matter, his counterpart representing Ibiono Ibom State Constituency, Barr. Ime Okon averred that the area being rich in natural resources should not warrant conflict even as he noted that residents of both areas were brothers. He gave his support to the legislative committee to aid in resolving the crisis.
On his part, the Chief Whip of Cross River State House of Assembly, Mr. Okon Ephraim said that the issue which has been on the front burner for a long time may possibly require the Houses of Assemblies to take up oversight function while adding that it was also imperative that residents of the area be properly sensitized with the setting up of industries in the area to aid employment.
Towing the same line, the member representing Nsit Atai, Elder Mmark Esset said that posterity would not forget them as leaders if they do t rise and speak against the issue. He opined that youths of the affected communities should be engaged while the Houses should take up an on the spot accessment.
Concluding on the issue, a legislative committee with Bassey Akiba, Barr Ime Okon, Mr. Okon Ephraim and Prince Idongesit Ituen as members was set up by both Speakers.
Earlier, the Speaker of Akwa Ibom, Barr Onofiok Luke while making remarks described the joint sitting as historic and commended its sister House of Assembly for its effort at promotion development.
He emphasized that the Sixth Assembly was resolute in supporting Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel in his efforts on consolidating the excellent strides of his predecessor, Senator Godswill Akpabio.”
Also making remarks, the Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Mr. John Lebo said that they were happy and proud to celebrate with Akwa Ibom Assembly as it marks twenty five while attesting to the significant role the legislature has played since 1960. He noted that Cross River routes through legislative direction to identify that the future is determined by leadership. “Our responsibility is to make laws and we believe that the solution to challenges is through legislation.
Legislature is always sidelined which is why we need autonomy. Our people should realise the role of the legislature”.
Lebo assured his counterparts from Akwa Ibom Assembly that the partnership will continue adding that the next joint session will be held at Cross River State.
The joint sitting also witnessed the motion on the need yo entrench true federalism in Nigeria sponsored by Sir Udo Kierian and Barr. Ogana Lukpata