Penultimate week, the entire world woke up to the news of the death of a job seeking philosophy graduate of the University of Uyo, by blood-thirsty suspected serial killer, Mr Uduak Akpan. Iniubong was reported to have gone for a job interview at the instance of Akpan, only to be raped and killed and later buried in a shallow grave in his father’s compound.
Investigations have shown that Iniubong may not be the first and only victim of the killer gang. The gang is said to be made of family members who converted their uncompleted building and the entire premises at Nnung Ikono Obio, Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State to a cemetery, where they bury the remains of their victims. It was in that compound that the police exhumed the remains of Iniubong.
Most people have condemned the killing. A lot of those who have spoken on the matter are angry that Akwa Ibom State government has not been able to provide employment for its citizens, hence the grading of the state as the leader in the unemployment ladder in the country, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
An indigenous lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, in reacting to the killing queried the government for not doing enough to take her jobless citizens out of the labour market. To him, Iniubong would not have been killed if there were opportunities for her and people in her situation to grab.
According to Effiong, “data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Akwa Ibom is among the top five States in Nigeria plagued by high unemployment rate. In the second quarter of 2020, Akwa Ibom State recorded 45.2% unemployment rate and 51.00% in the fourth quarter.
“As at the third quarter of 2020, Akwa Ibom ranked second in the unemployment rate index in Nigeria. This is not only embarrassing and scandalous, it reveals the criminal neglect of the youthful and employable population of Akwa Ibom State.”
Incidentally, the governor, Udom Emmanuel boasts of investing so much in opening industries in the state. The citizens are yet to feel the effect of the industries though.
His wife, Dr Martha, penultimate week, led other concerned citizens into the streets of Uyo to protest the killing. During the street rally, the governor’s wife was reported to have said that Iniubong would be the last person to die such a death.
The death of a promising young girl is painful enough. But much more painful is the fact that despite the revenue that accrues to the state, the citizens have had to die in the course of trying to find means of survival, despite government’s claims of establishing industries. It is equally painful that a state that is considered about the richest in terms of monthly collections from the federation account would be tagged the poverty and unemployment capital. That is the state with the highest deposits of crude oil.
It is our considered opinion that beyond the governor’s wife leading a road show in the name of protesting Iniubong’s death, the government, which is led by her husband, should return to the drawing board and think of how best to create employment for the surviving unemployed graduates and even skilled citizens, so that another killer gang will not kill more Iniubong who may be on the next street, looking for survival. We believe that rather than shed crocodile tears in the name of crying for Iniubong, deliberate efforts should be made to address the unemployment challenges in the state. This will probably be the best way to show that we love our citizens and would not want them to die in the hands of ritual killers who pose as job givers.