The Eket people of Akwa Ibom State with access to the Atlantic ocean say the subsisting map of their state is not acceptable to them. They are therefore pushing for a remapping of the big offshore oil and gas state.
Their umbrella organization, Ekid Peoples Union (EPU) is loudly demanding the remapping of Akwa Ibom since according to them, what is currently regarded as a map of the state is not acceptable to the people.
EPU’s National President, Samuel Udonsak, a prominent medical doctor, made the demand in his address at the Ekid Annual National Congress 2021, which has a theme ‘Ekid: Reawakening and Repositioning for Prosperity’ which took place on Thursday, ar the Prince Udo Edukere Hall, Esit Eket Local Government Council Secretariat, Uquo.
According to Udonsak, “Akwa Ibom never had a map at its creation, so the union does not consider the present effort to deliver an acceptable Map as remapping. No Map of Akwa Ibom State has ever been produced or gazetted.
“The union is now in an epic struggle to have a Map of Akwa ibom State delineating the true boundary of Ekid Nation in line with our aboriginal rights, historical antecedents and legal judgments and pronouncements. No amount of blackmail or inventions of falsehood would make us abandoned this sacred obligation. It is a task that must be done.
“It is only Ekid people that can tell the true boundary of Ibeno LGA. For we gave them land, and when they needed where to bury their dead, we gave them an additional land, and when they needed to build the native court, it is the Ekid people that gave them more land.
‘’Even in recent memory, the former Deputy Governor, Sen (Engr) Chris Ekpeyong, still alive negotiated for us to cede our land for them to build their secretariat. It is incorrect to say that Ibeno was not created without a boundary. The seven (7) villages that made up Ibeno LGA at its creation had defined,” claimed EPU.
The union also claimed “that ExxonMobil’s Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) is sited on Ekid land. This is incontrovertible. The courts have affirmed this. When the land for QIT extension was needed, it was acquired from Ekid people. There are discussions in the public space on the imminent transfer or sale or change of ownership. In the absence of a formal discussion with the community, it is imperative to inform any prospective beneficiary of such transfer, sale or change seamless and hitch-free transfer would include a timely engagement of the community.
Udonsak announced the establishment of Ekid Investment Company, institution of Ekid Education Trust Fund, establishment of a permanent Secretariat of Ekid Peope’s Union, Ufa Ekid, hosting of an Ekid Economic Summit, production of authentic history of Ekid people; and to identify and approve independent financing framework for the union.