Ikpi Ikpi Akpama, Chairman of Yakurr Local Government Area, Cross River Central Senatorial district, it appears has refused to be drawn into a face-off with critics who have roundly criticized him “for abandoning the local council area” immediately the Nko/Mkpani communal clash began.
Akpama’s highest profile critic from the area so far, Wilfred Inah, a former Head of Service in the state, had on local FM station, HIT 95.9 FM, insisted that Akpama’s efforts at working to put down the conflict were inadequate if not totally absent. Inah insisted too that the council boss has shown almost no interest in peace efforts midwived by elites in the area, efforts that have so far helped contain the conflict.
Others who spoke with www.calitown.com wondered why the Chief Security Officer of the area will take up residence in far away Calabar when he has an official residence in Ugep, the council headquarters, which was not threatened in any way by the conflict. “The man abandoned his people to their fate and we all don’t blame him because he was not our choice, he was forced on us by Liyel Imoke and the PDP”.
But an aide of the council boss who reacted to these criticisms maintained that his boss’ critics “… have only told hate-induced half truths “. He maintained further that “these people will not talk about how the Chairman was attacked by his Nko people for refusing to give them money to buy arms. What of his wife’s shop that was vandalized…so we all expected him to sit in Nko and be killed?”.
He continued, “…they say he has not enhanced the peace process. See, even the traditional chiefs in Yakurr can tell you what efforts he has put in. Let me not list them, you people should do your investigation and see if Inah and his co-travellers are doing what they should do for the entire good of the LGA”.
At the height of the communal conflict between the Nko/Mkpani communities, weeks ago, lives and property were destroyed and the Ikom/Calabar highway that runs through both communities blocked, causing commuters to access parts of the Central and Northern part of Cross River State through neighbouring Ebonyi State.
When www.calitown.com called up the council chairman last week, he promised to tell his own side of the story, that he has not done at press time.
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