The Akwa Ibom State Government has warned militants and cultists fomenting crisis in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo Local Government Areas to shun violence and embrace peace.
The state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, who visited the violence-torn local government areas of the state at the weekend, offered amnesty to the youth in the local councils to enable peace reign and the natives and visitors go about their daily activities freely.
During his visit, Emmanuel warned that the state government had no tolerance to violence and cultism related clashes, hence the need for the youths to sheathe their sword and come out for rehabilitation and amnesty programmes the state government had worked out.
He also presented relief materials to the displaced persons in the affected communities, calling on sponsors of the gangsters to see the need for peace and normalcy in the two council areas to forestall further bloodshed and destruction of properties.
“It is not our wish that anyone should die, it is our wish that everyone repent and live in accordance with biblical principle. Let’s there be peace,” Emmanuel said.
He noted that crises did not allow development to thrive in the state, thereby tasking parents to encourage their children to desist from those violent crimes and embrace his amnesty overture.
As a father and the chief security officer of the state, Emmanuel said he would not fold his hands and watch some criminal youths wreak havoc and bring sorrows to families in their localities.
Also, at Iwukem community in Etim Ekpo LGA, he sympathised with the people over their losses, urged the community leaders “to reach out to the youths for peace to prevail.”
He urged the coordinators of the relief materials “to distribute the items to the affected communities without any cheat and bias.”
The Chairman of Etim Ekpo Local Government, Mr. Udeme Eduo, commended Emmanuel for his magnanimity and peaceful disposition towards the plight of the people of Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun affected by the menace of cultism.
He said the provision of succour to the affected persons attests to his pragmatic and fatherly disposition. He prayed God would bless the governor and grant him success in the next election.
Also speaking, the Coordinator of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Martins Udofia, described the visit by the governor as timely and benevolent, proposing a solemn assembly in the area for divine solution to the fracas.
A lawmaker representing Ukanafun in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Otobong Akpan, also commended the governor for his passion towards ensuring peace and harmony in the affected areas.