The host community of the proposed Akwa Ibom Coconut Refinery, have threatened to stop work at the site of the refineries if the state governor or his representatives do not come in immediately and consult with them through the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) within 14 days.
Rising after a well-attended meeting of the community, held at the palace of the village head of Ikot Inyang Okop, Etiedung Okon Marcus Akpakpan, spokesman for the three villages that make up Odoroikot: Ikot Inyang Okop, Ibioete and Ikot Ekpang, Chief McCauley Akpan, decried what he described as marginalisation and impunity by the state governor. Though he appreciated the state government for deciding to cite the refinery in Mkpat Enin but noted that the state government should have consulted the owners of the land before taking it which was the only source of economic livelihood for the community.
Also speaking, the secretary of Ikot Inyang Okop village council, Obong Umoren Timothy Udofot, refuted the state government earlier claim that the said land was in dispute between Eastern Obolo and Mkpat Enin Local Government Areas, describing it as executive falsehood. “Eastern Obolo has no business there and the land had never been in dispute with them. We plant our economic trees and do our regular farming there” he said.
In the same vein, a youth activist from the community, comrade Idem George expressed dismay and disappointment in the state government and especially in the political leaders of Mkpat Enin Local Government, “even after dumping us after the election, they have the guts to come in and steal our land without consulting our village heads.”