Thursday, 11 July 2019

Odukpani Crisis: Ekpo Okon pledge to work with Odukpani leaders to resolve communal

A one time Peoples Democratic Party, PDP state Chairman in Cross River state and Deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC in the just concluded general elections, Ntufam Ekpo Okon has promised to ensure the current pockets of the crisis rocking Odukpani Local government area are resolved with lasting solutions proffered. 

Speaking with a cross-section of members of Odukani Leadership Academy, the one time NDDC, commissioner said it is very sad and disheartening to know that people are still fighting over a piece of land today, stating that if one should trace the history of some of those disputes, it will be discovered that that dispute had existed long before now, yet there was no need for bloodshed. 

 "Our forefathers may have struggled over that same piece of lands but as uneducated as they were, with a little number of churches then as compared to what is obtainable today, they didn't deem it necessary to shed blood rather they took the civil way of going to court". Okon noted.

Ntufam Okon who wondered where the spirit of violence and bloodshed came from, however, attributed some blames on politicians who buy weapons and hard drugs for youths during elections and after the elections, they can't control the use of the weapons and the boys.

"I can't exonerate ourselves as politicians, because we are the ones who use these boys in such manners. 
We forget that election is just a phase and when that phase comes and go, what plans do we have for the boys and groups we use during the elections?"

Ntufam Ekpo Okon also blamed the youths whom he said are too eager to act without seeking advice from the elders, he lamented the state where young men pick up arms against each other without recourse to the effects of such acts.

"The entire body system works together, with the head which houses the brain as the leader, while the arms and hands are used for activities at the instance of the brain(head) But the problem we have today is that the arms and the hands are acting without the consent of the head. The head represents Elders and community leaders while the arms and hands are the youths. The youths are acting without the consent of the elders". He explained. 

The well informed and experienced political giant, used the opportunity to scoop words of wisdom from his reservoir of knowledge to the visiting youths even as he encouraged them to make it a habit to constantly visit their communities as well educate themselves and also arm themselves with information.

Speaking earlier, comrade Kingsley Ita Ikpeme, leader of the delegation and acting chairman of the Academy, 
informed their host, Ntufam Ekpo Okon of the activities of the newly birthed Leadership Academy for Oduknpani youths, stating that the Academy was conceived out of the need to groom young ones who will eventually step into the leadership shoes of the older generation as well as act as a pressure group for the emancipation and development of Odukapni local government area. 

Comrade Kingsley went on to say that members of the academy decided to visit the former NDDC commissioner so he could lend his voice into the lingering and very disturbing pockets of communal crisis that has plagued the local government area and to also discuss how Odukpani can be developed and be reckoned with.

Kingsley, also noted that the visit will afford the members of the academy the opportunity to learn from his wealth of experience and knowledge and also chat a course that will bring development and better opportunities to indigenes of Odukpani.