Women of Ukanafun origin, especially traders who ply their trade on the Ohaobu-Akefe water way, which is the sea route from Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State into neighbouring Rivers State are going through traumatic experiences in the hands of kidnappers.
While some are being raped, those who refuse to yield to their criminal demands are being tortured by the hoodlums who appear to have seized the waterways, knowing that there is no security presence anywhere close.
A member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Elder Emem Udom who drew the attention of his colleagues on the floor of the house in a motion, called for urgent steps to check the situation.
He said the sea route had become dreaded because of the kidnappers and recalled how some school proprietors from Ukanafun were recently kidnapped and had to pay heavily before they were freed.
He noted that “the 2017 crises in Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo and parts of Oruk Anam Local Government Areas is still a soothing flame of fire as the people are still living in continual fear due to lack of government commitment to secure the Ohaobu-Ekefe water-ways which is the route through which the hoodlums invade the area for their unwholesome practices.
“I feel quite nostalgic for the place where I grew up. Each time I think of the Ukanafun of our fore-bears, a time when our mothers could walk freely to their farms and return alife (sic), a time when young artisans could deploy their know-how to better their lot and a time when we could sleep with our two eyes closed.
“Further disturbed that a week hardly ever passes in Ukanafun without reports of various forms of insurgency orchestrated by the hoodlums who traverse the Ahoabu-Akefe water route into Ukanafun,” Udom sought the intervention of the Assembly in getting the state government to deploy security in the area. The motion was co-sponsored by the member from Oruk Anam, Prince Sampson Idiong and Mfon Idung from Etim Ekpo.
After exhaustive deliberation, the House directed its committee on internal security to liaise with the ministry of internal security and get updates on its safety and security measures and turn in their report within two weeks.