The Ekid People’s Union has advised Akwa Ibom people to ignore the shameless rants of the Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Council, Mr.William Mkpah, on issues surrounding the ownership of Akoiyak, also known as stubbs creek forest as he was speaking from the point of ignorance.

Speaking at a press conference at the Union’s headquarters in Eket, The President General of the Union, Dr. Samuel Udonsak stated unequivocally, that the land which William Mkpah is laying claims to, belongs to Ekid.

Dr. Udonsak who presented a copy of the Privy Council judgment to Journalists, said, the judgment dates back to 1916 where the Supreme Court of Nigeria entered judgment in favour of Ekid as the rightful owner of the stubbs creek, and in 1918, where the judgment of the Supreme Court was upheld by the Privy Council in London, and an order for the execution of the judgment was made.

Also speaking, Chairman of Esit Eket, Mr. Iniobong Robson said Williams Mkpah was acting a script on behalf of people who were beating the drums for him.

He further stated that, the problem Ekid is having, is from the Akwa Ibom State Government and not Ibeno or William Mkpah.

The Chairman also declared, that henceforth, nobody was going to gain access to the stubbs creek until the right thing is done, which is to negotiate with the people of Ekid, as the original owners of the land.

Iniobong Robson faulted the handing over of Ekid land to Bua refinery by the same William Mkpah, and said, no Chairman had such authority and that the Ibeno Chairman has continued to wallow in illegalities.

Successive Governments in Akwa Ibom State, including military administrations have continued to benefit from the stubbs creek, without due recognition of the original owners, gazetting villages in Ibeno local government, and this is why the state Government is the cause of the problem currently faced by the people of Ekid, Iniobong Robson said.

In their separate reactions, The Secretary General of the Union, Barr. Bassey Dan Abia Jnr, reiterated the Union’s position that there was no going back on the ownership of the stubbs creek by the Ekid people.

Chairman of Eket Local Government, Mr.Akan Tommey, told the press, that the struggle continues in possessing what rightly belongs to Ekid.

Concluded, President General of Ekid People’s Union, Dr. Samuel Udonsak said the union had the backing of the Paramount Rulers of Eket and Esit Eket, and the backing of the Ekid people to act on their behalf.

The time to be gentle on this Stubbs creek forest issue is over, Udonsak stated.


©Eneh John