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Eket: Ikot Ebok Community Revolts Over Urua Affiong Etuk Relocation

Edet EDET – EKET

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The Ikot Ebok Community in Eket Local Government has described the relocation of Urua Affiong Etuk Market, a renowned market in Eket Community to its proposed new site (Asa Ikasang) in Ikot Ebok village as a development devoid of proper communication between the government and the community.

In a letter of complaint addressed to the Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel through its solicitor, Victor Batta and Associates, the Chief –in Council of the village comprising of prominent stakeholders stated that the “Asa Ikasang” proposed for the relocation of the market belongs to the Ikot Ebok community, and as such it would have been pertinent for proper discuss with the Chief-in Council and other stakeholders in the community before attempting to take over the land for the aforementioned purpose.

The community who spilled their grievances in the said petition, reiterated that they support the development efforts/ projects undertaken by the Governor in Eket Local government with a view of giving Eket a facelift, but frowns against the gross act of marginalization that keeps the community in the dark.

“we are informed that in spite of the denial of the intention to relocate the old market to “Asa Ikasang” and in spite of several relocation communities working on the issue, Ikot Ebok community has been kept in the dark whereas people from other communities and villages who do not have any connection with the said proposed new site are members of the project monitoring and implementation committee. This discloses a hidden agenda to marginalize the Ikot Ebok people and this is very disappointing and surprising- they said”.

The community further stated that the proposed site for the new market is very inappropriate due to the fact that the land is too small to harbor a large number of people that comes from Abia and Imo state to transact business, and it is a proposed playground for Pegasus Primary School located within the vicinity.

The community has however, displayed their readiness to provide one out of the lots of land, large enough to accommodate the envisaged crowd and thugs in a more suitable location for the purposes of “relocating the market” and the government can take responsibility of acquiring the land with the payment of necessary compensation.

In a related development, parents of Pegasus School Eket has threatened to withdraw their children if the market is relocated to the proposed site, noting that situating the market at “ Asa Ikasang” defeats all sense of seriousness, endangers the school children and makes the entire environment not conducive to learning.

Speaking with the President “Nkpo Mbaha Ndito Ekid”, Mr Ekid Etukudoh, he described the action of government vis-à-vis the relocation of Urua Ofiiong Etuk to Ikot Ebok as an act capable of disenfranchising the Ikot Ebok community of Mobil’s presence, due to the fact that if parents withdraw their children from the school, Mobil might be forced to relocate the school from their community.

He stressed that the youths of Ikot Ebok will resist any form of imposition by the state government to relocate the market to its community, and will ensure that the commissioning of the project slated for tomorrow will not hold.

Responding to the development, the Caretaker Chairman, Hon. Frank Archibong, said he will meet with  stakeholders and community leaders to decide where the market will be relocated  permanently.

Those who Victor Batta and Associate acted on their instruction were:  Eteidung Usoro Sampson Usoro (Village Head), Chief Solomon Bassey Obot, Chief Bassey Ben, Chief Syvester Ekpo, Chief Okon W. Oduok, Chief Edwin Eshiet Robson (Secretary), Comrade Paulinus Ekong Jp (Chairman), Chief Assam Usoroh, Usoro Harry Uko and other stakeholders.

 

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