By Harris Emmanuel
UYO—Hundreds of repentant militants, who recently received Akwa Ibom State government’s olive branch, yesterday invaded Etim Ekpo Local Government Secretariat and sacked the Chairman, Mr. Udeme Eduo and workers of the council.
Activities were paralyzed at the secretariat and its environs as the militants, mostly drawn from the Iceland and Debam cult groups, chanted war songs and threatened to walk out of the amnesty deal and return to armed struggle.
The ex-warlords were armed with placards bearing various inscriptions.
One of the ex-agitators, who spoke on condition of anonymity accused the government of insincerity.
He said: “We have been deceived by the government to come out of the bush and drop our weapons but what was promised has not been implemented.
“The initial empowerment fund given to us by the government was not properly shared to the families by the Council Chairman, Mr. Udeme Eduo.
“Two weeks ago, we were asked to assemble at the Qua Iboe Church (QIC) primary school at Uruk Ata 2. When the Chairman arrived, he expressed happiness that we obeyed the government and embraced the deal for peace to return to our communities.
“However, what the Chairman did was to short-change our group and gave N1million to the Icelanders and gave N150,000 to our group. He also promised us vocational jobs and other empowerment funds.
The Chairman did not respond to calls as at press time, but one of his aides who pleaded anonymity, said: “The Chairman is in a meeting with security agencies”.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the incident, said Police were on hand to ensure the protest did not degenerate into a fight.
He added that the matter had been resolved, assuring that the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. John Bassey Abang, was committed to ensuring lasting peace in troubled areas.