By Our Reporter
As part of their efforts to return peace to Ekenge village, the Association of Concerned Indigenes of Okoyong Nation have paid a visit to a prominent son of the village, Chief Emmanuel Etok at his residence.
Chief Etok who is from the Ekpenyong Ekpenyong family of Ekenge village was elected village head in 2018 but his election was strongly opposed by some members of the Edem Ekpenyong family, leading to serious crisis in the village. So far, over ten people have lost their lives, while properties worth millions of naira have been destroyed.
Leader of the delegation and president of ACION, pastor Effiong Ekpo, informed Chief Etok that the group’s visit was to reiterate the need for peace to return to Ekenge village and for all warring factions to see the need to embrace peace as one family.
He said attempts was being made to reach out to other stakeholders with the aim of ensuring lasting peace is achieved in Ekenge village and Okoyong as a whole also sympathised with Chief Etok over the destruction of his properties and that of his father.
Pastor Ekpo who was accompanied by some senior members of the group including the Secretary, Mrs Ayianwan promised to work with security chiefs in the state to bring about lasting peace in Okoyong nation.
“we are here to preach peace, our mission here is to make sure that peace returns back to Ekenge. We will work with security agencies and other good people of Okoyong nation to make sure lasting peace is achieved” Ekpo said
Responding, Chief Emmanuel Etok said he was disposed to genuine peace moves, noting that he has lost so much as a result of the crisis.
He said although he has been battling with serious health challenge after his released from the detention facility of the department of state security services, he was however still committed towards ensuring lasting peace returned to his village.
“As you can all see, I am seriously battling with my health, it is by the grace of God that I am not dead by now. It is my God and medical science that have kept me alive today. But I still want to thank God for everything. I have never encouraged violence and will never do, but what I have been made to go through is unthinkable. Well, I still thank God for everything”
ACION is a foremost community based interventionist association that have been involved in several peace mediations in Odukpani LGA especially Okoyong community.
At the wake of unprovoked attack on the indigenes of Ubambat village by Ikot Offiong youths, the association donated food items to the villagers including several bags of rice, cartoons of noddles among other items.