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Ekid nation accuses BUA of illegally occupying land

Ekid nation accuses BUA of illegally occupying land

The National President of Ekid People’s Union (EPU) in Akwa Ibom, Dr Samuel Udonsak, has said BUA International Limited is occupying its land illegally, just as the mining of Ilmenite without its consent is illegal.

Speaking during its yearly congress, Udonsak persuaded the state government to abide by the terms and conditions of the 1930 Stubbs Creek Reserve Ordinance that established the Stubbs Creek Forest Reserve, known as Akoiyak, noting that it was not an acquisition.

“Therefore, if for any reason, the forest reserve or any part, thereof, is de-reserved, the reversionary interest is that of the Ekid people, its original owners, by the 1918 Privy Court judgment.

“There is no place in the Constitution and our laws that allow a government to acquire land and convert it into private use. It should always be for public good. It is on this basis that we hold that BUA is occupying our land illegally just as the mining of Ilmenite on our land without our consent is also illegal,” Udonsak stressed.

He reported to the congress that throughout last year, Ibeno Local Council, through its agents and actors, continued to intimidate, kidnap, disposes Ekid people of their farms, tools and fishing gears and even impose illegal taxes on the people living in Esit Urua and those doing their legitimate business in the Stubbs Creek.

“They have made life unbearable for our people. Congress must mandate the union to take all legitimate means to free our people who have every right to live their life in peace and prosperity,” he demanded.

On the proposed Ibom Seaport, Udonsak said the project has the potential to revolutionise the economy and life in Akwa Ibom State. He commended government’s efforts in the pursuit of the seaport project.

What is Ekid Nation?

Eket is one of the 31 local government areas in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The name Eket or Ekid also refers to the indigenous ethnic group of the region and to their language.

The Eket people use the endonym Ekid for themselves and their language, but Europeans spell and pronounce the name as “Eket”.

Eket, apart from being a local government area in Akwa Ibom State is one of the three geopolitical zones in the state. The geopolitical zones are Uyo senatorial district, Ikot Ekpene senatorial district and Eket senatorial district.

The town itself is an industrial city that in recent years has become a conurbation joining together separate villages. The Office of the Surveyor-General of Akwa Ibom State estimates the area of the Eket Local Government Area to be approximately 176.000 square Km while the 2006 National Census gives the population of the Local Government Area as 172,856.

However, the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Economic Development gives the 2013 estimated population of the Eket Local Government Area as given as 218,438 with a population density of 1,241/square Km.

 

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