BY NSIBIET JOHN
We are not thankful that Eket is not what it used to be. Today’s Eket does not even show a prelude to becoming what it used to be. The town has since lost its virginity and her innocence. There is no sign that things are getting better in the once Akwa Ibom’s most important city. The menace of bad roads, very dirty environments, motorcyclists recklessness, activities of prostitutes, armed robbery and frequent cult clashes that leaves scores dead and many injured is holding the town at the jugular. It is the shame of a Local Government Area.
From all indications and researches, Eket is a time Bomb and may explode anytime except something very serious is done to put a halt to the many nefarious activities that have since been identified with the Local Government which is supposedly the capital of the Governor’s Senatorial District.
Eket have been besieged by people of criminal minds who have since identified it as a hideout. The average citizen in Eket lives in fear. The fear of another bloody strike from hoodlums.
The fear of another well planned and executed robbery incident. The fear of another bloody cult clash. Reasons for fear are endless. Eket is not picking the pieces of itself. Especially as one cult clash succeeds the other. The last time it was the Supreme Vikings Confraternity against the mafias. In this clash, lives were wasted and homes displaced. Now, ongoing is a cult clash involving the JVC (Junior Vikings Confraternity) and the Axe men.
This particular clash has left no less than eight people dead and several others maimed and wounded. Although police sources in Eket say the ongoing cult clash in the area have resulted in five deaths, what is rather pathetic is that men have fallen, brave youths have been sent to their early graves in the name of a cult war. Things are not in any way being subdued.
But more worrisome is the fact that while some blood tasty youths go about their brigandage as if they own Eket LGA, the leadership of the area and the security agencies look the other way. Some sources have even accused the leadership and security agencies of playing hide and seek in this matter. It appears, there is either a total failure of leadership or security structures in Eket are insensitive. Otherwise, how else do you explain a situation where lives of citizens are being wasted and no arrest is being effected. This explains that both the leadership and security of the place have compromised. This is because this continuous killings in Eket cannot be done with such impunity if the leadership and security of the place was responsible, effective and up and doing. Our leaders and security structures are attempting to be strangers to history. How unfortunate and sad.
An earlier pathology in the Local Government Area was witnessed in the early 20th century when different milita groups held the communities of Eket LGA to ransom. There were groups like, Akribo in Esit Urua, Ukkang in Afaha Eket and its environs as well as Ukpotio in other parts of the LGA. These bodies it was learnt were initially formed to act as vigilante groups in the area. But they catapulted themselves and acted against the norms of the society. Rather than play the roles of the watchdog which they set out to perform, they began massive, unwarranted and wanton killings as well as destruction of properties.
Most citizens were displaced. They ran anywhere but home. Area boys had a field day and turned themselves into the movers and shakers of Eket Local Government Area. The government then, looked the other way until more than enough atrocities were committed against the people. More heinous crimes were visited on the once innocent society. When matters got to a halt, in one fell swoop, government unleashed terror and Eket lost over three hundred male youths. That as it were was a matter of time. But yours faithfully believes that there would have been a better means of managing that crisis. If government had risen up to its task and nip the Akribo and Co wildness in the bud. Fact is the government and security agents in Eket are out of town today. They are simply not there. If they are there, they are the ones aiding and fuelling crime in the area.
Now, let us rely on the official police confirmation of five deaths, the score line is 3-2. As at the time of filing in this report at about 8.45pm yesterday, it could not be established which cult group killed three and which killed two. But we can report authoritatively that the group with two deaths have vowed to kill one to raise their victims’ numbers to three and equal their opponent’s number.
The leadership in Eket and security agencies pretend not to be in the know of this. It is too sad. The duo is conscious that they have an approximate number of years and or months to serve the people of Eket. They are also aware that with the recent development in Eket, the confidence of the people is gradually falling. The trust is waning. The pleasure of leaving in Eket is no longer there.
But as Eketians, the people of the Local Government Area need to work. They should be the most challenged. It is time people understand that no one, no individual will appreciate the challenge of rebuilding the Local Government if not an Ekid man. We must forgive successive government for foisting unpopular candidates on us as leaders. They did not know. For if our then leaders came from us, then more progress would have been recorded in our Local Government Area.
To many and especially those following the killings in Eket, leadership and security in the Area have been defeated. And the citizens have become the target. Royal parents, church leaders and every stakeholder need to wake up so that the Local Government will return to its innocence. But this cannot be done without a sense of emergency from the Eket Government led by Mr. Frank Archibong. The State Government even though it appears to hate Eket ought to help this part of Akwa Ibom. The source of the problem in this region is under development, ignorance and greed. It is not enough for the government to build castles in the air and make empty promises. There is an urgent need for a leadership reorientation in Eket where all strata of leaders will know that they owe Eket a duty to protect her citizens and preserve her identity. The security network in the area may need a total overhaul. They appear to be more comfortable engaging in escapades than work. There is a radical situation in Eket and it needs a radical approach. The killings in Eket are threat to peace in Akwa Ibom and until this cankerworm is stopped in the LGA, our leaders and security institutions should bow their heads in shame. The reasons are legion. (Culled from The Ink).