Essien Udim Crisis: Emem Akpabio Donates to Displaced Persons

Sir. Emem Akpabio while visiting IDP camp in Ikot Ekpene

Priscilla Christopher

Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Ati Annang Foundation, Sir Emem Akpabio has donated food items to displaced members of communities affected by the recent mayhem unleashed by hoodlums in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Akpabio made the donation on Monday, April 12 at St. Anne’s Catholic Cathedral in Ifuho, Ikot Ekpene, where the displaced persons were camping, while promising to do more to help cushion the effect of the crisis on them.

Regretting that the incident occurred at a time where the villagers ought to be tilling their lands in preparation for cultivation, the former top management staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Port Harcourt, sympathized with the affected communities while calling for an end to the crisis.

“Whoever is involved in this occurrence should stop betraying the community. Our youths should be wary of their activities and parents should take time to nurture their wards towards good behaviour”, he said.

While empathizing with the people, Sir Akpabio noted that those who were most affected are innocent children who have been deprived the comfort of their homes, freedom of movement to school and the safety of their environment.

In his remarks earlier, Chairman of the Local Government Council, Mr. Anthony Luke who lamented the fate which has befallen the Local Government Area at a productive season of the year, thanked Akpabio for sharing in their grief and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State for his show of concern for the area.

“There is no day the Governor does not call me for up to 4 times since he heard of the incident. He has been really supportive”, he noted.

Luke who maintained that normalcy was returning to the affected areas assured that the safety of citizens was being priotised to enable them return to their homes and farmlands.

Supporting the donation with few food items, the Ati-Annang socio-cultural group, led by its Essien Udim Chapter Chairman, Mr. Victor Udofia described the situation as unfortunate and painful.
“We are here to sympathise and support our displaced brothers and sisters, especially the ones whose source of livelihood and shelter have been grounded. We cannot completely turn around your fate but we hope this will assist in a way”, he said.

The food items donated included bags of rice, beans and garri; noodles amongst others.

In an interaction with newsmen, some of the displaced citizens from Ikot Akpan and Ukana Uwa who pleaded anonymity appreciated the Council Chairman and other donors for the concern shown them. They informed that they were on Saturday, April 10, 2021, given some relief materials and asked to come back for food support.

“They gave us mattress, mat, beddings and clothes and the Catholic Church even accommodates and feeds some of us who do not have relations nearby. Today, they are giving us food items. May God bless them for us”, one of them said.

Another recipient from Ikot Afanga, Mrs Mary Uko informed that the relief materials were being shared accordingly and in order.
“On Saturday, the people of Ikot Akpan and Uwa got their share while today is for the people of Ikot Afanga and other parts of Uwa”, she stated.

However, one of the victims of the incident, Ndifreke Michael Paul, a senior student at Community Comprehensive School, Nto Nsek whose apartment was completely razed down with everything in it, had a sour story to tell.

“I got the information that my village was burning but I didn’t believe it because they had told us that men of the Nigerian Army would be coming so, I left the house and went to my uncle’s place at Ikot Ekpene. But when I attempted to go there to see the state of things, the entire building had been razed down”, he said amidst tears.

“My hope of returning to school has been dashed. My books, clothes, ATM, credentials and all I have are gone. I don’t know where to start from because I have no one to help. My parents were also affected and are here with me at the camp. We’re all struggling to eat because of the population but I am not myself; I don’t know if I will be able to go back to school”, Paul lamented.

While calling for help from members of the public, Michael hinted that he could be reached through 07033921181.

At the event were the member representing Essien Udim at the State House of Assembly, Hon. Esse Umoh; Political Leader of Ukana West Ward 1, members of Ati-Annang and a host of other stakeholders in the area.