Home News Ibeno community petitions President Buhari over remapping, alleged ceding of ancestral land

Ibeno community petitions President Buhari over remapping, alleged ceding of ancestral land

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Indigenes of Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over the proposed remapping of the state which they claim is an attempt to cede some of their ancestral lands to other local governments.

Recall that the state House of Assembly in a recent resolution mandated the Surveyor-General of the state to produce a generally acceptable, approved and gazetted map for the state.

But youths drawn from the 26 gazetted communities in Ibeno local government area in a peaceful protest described the planned remapping of the state as illegal and politically motivated.

The youths maintained that they would resist the move with the last drop of their blood even as they claimed that 16 of their communities would be ceded to Onna and Eket LGAs.

The youths staged the protest on Monday, displaying placards with varying inscriptions reading, “proposed remapping is illegal and politically motivated” “Ibeno say no to propose remapping” “We don’t need remapping” etc

Addressing the protesters who converged at the Ibeno local government Secretariat, the Youth President of Ibeno, Mr Kinsley Asuquo said the endorsement of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) should not be used as a yardstick to marginalise the council.

He said it was not a crime to come from an oil-producing community adding that soon after the PIA was passed people began to claim what does not belong to them

He added “What you are seeing today is a demonstration of our dissatisfaction. At this point, you can consider that we have been pushed to the wall and it has come to a point where we cannot take it any longer.

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“It’s not a crime to come from an oil-producing community; we did not put ourselves in this place. God Almighty puts us here in Ibeno and we have the divine right to enjoy anything that comes from the oil-producing community. This should not be the reason why we should become the victim of everything form of sharing.

“The endorsement of the Petroleum Industry Act as a working document of Mr President is not a yardstick for everything in the state to be upturned against us. We say no!. The map Akwa Ibom state is having today was not made today, that map has been there for over 30-years. Nobody agitated, nobody complained, nobody proposed for a change and remapping.

“Suddenly after the PIA was passed, people began to impose themselves, trying to tear Ibeno apart by initiating a new map to make them an oil-producing community. We did not make ourselves an oil Producing community; it’s by divine grace that we are here, so we disagree, we will resist this to any level, any attempt to take any plot of Ibeno from us, this is our ancestral property.

“We have seen a new map that has torn us apart completely. We are saying no to that, be it our local government chairman, be it the state government, we are saying no.

“Mr President did not pass the PIA for Ibeno to be marginalised. We, therefore, call on the federal government to intercede in this issue now that it’s is early enough. Ibeno will not back down, even if it remains one person”

Mr Friday Ubong, another youth leader called on the state government to stop creating unnecessary tension between Ibeno and its neighbouring local government areas

“We are not happy with what is going on. Since Akwa Ibom State was created 34 years ago, we have never experienced what we are seeing now and Udom Emmanuel cannot come and create a war between us and our neighbours, Eket and Onna.

“We don’t want to carry any rifle. We also call on the Minister of the Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, he was the former Governor of this state and we enjoyed this state. But since Udom Emmanuel became the governor, Akwa Ibom State became a beggar state

The women Youths leader, Maureen Anthony Effiong lamented that the Udom government whom they all supported massively has turned against the Ibeno people


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