Defence & Security

Akwa Ibom govt to tackle insecurity, other crimes at Itam industrial area


Akwa Ibom State Government has said that frequent clashes characterized by insecurity at the state industrial area located in Itam popularly known as ” Nasarawa” within Uyo metropolis would be tackled to restore law and order in the area.

Speaking to The Trumpet in Uyo on Monday, the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources Capt Iniobong Ekong confirmed that there were cases of regular clashes between the natives and Hausa community adding that the government was ready to bring lasting peace to the neighbourhood.

The Trumpet Investigations revealed that the troubled area was acquired by the state government during the administration of former governor, Obong Victor Attah, and allocated it to some government agencies, corporate bodies and individuals to build offices and factories as part of efforts to promote industrial activities in the state.

Among those government agencies that got plots in the area were; Akwa Ibom State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, AKRUWATSAN, NSCDC, Ministry of Agriculture and the state Ministry of Transport.

Further investigation showed that a part of the land was allocated to Hausa/Fulani community to erect Mosque, which caused the area to be nicknamed ‘Nassarawa’ in Akwa Ibom.

The area nicknamed ‘Nassarawa’, is mainly populated by Hausa/Fulani residents in the state and it is becoming a settlement of concern to the government, security agencies, and the host communities due to activities of criminal elements and scrap metal dealers as well as herdsmen who have turned undeveloped plots of land in the area into a haven for illicit and nefarious activities.

The area now houses metal scrap dealers, illicit drug sellers, gangsters, mechanic workshops, private motor parks, grazing fields and farms.

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Our Correspondent gathered that the village head of the community, Chief Dominic Etim was allegedly fingered in certain activities unbecoming of the position of a community leader which resulted in violent crimes in the area.

A resident in the area who pleaded anonymity said some plots of land acquired by the state government were leased to individuals between N300,000 and N700,000 for commercial purposes but some of them built permanent structures.

Reacting to the incident, the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources said there would be a review of the Land Use Act to tackle the menace

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer in Akwa Ibom State, SP Odiko McDon said that the police command was aware of the criminal acts in the area and had taken steps to ‘sanitize’, and ‘calm’ the area.

He said the police can identify trouble makers and had been working on the leadership of ‘Nassarawa’ to ‘nip in the bud any perceived challenge

“We have received reports about certain criminal acts going on around the Nasarawa area. At one time or the other we have had certain disagreements that have caused some form of unrest, but the place is now calm, ” he said

“But I will like to disabuse the minds of members of the public that the place is not safe. It has been sanitized, the command is working very closely with the leadership of the place to ensure that the peace already existing is not truncated”.  he said.

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