The Akwa Ibom State Government has successfully evacuated 34 of her citizens, who were stranded in Katsina State following heightened banditry and insurgency in some parts of the state.
The victims, who arrived in the state on Saturday, were received by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr Ini Adiakpan on behalf of the state government, at the Women Development Centre in Uyo.
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Addressing newsmen, Dr. Adiakpan said: “the attention of the state government was drawn to a viral video on social media where some displaced Akwa Ibom indigenes in Katsina State, were calling for help, because their houses, shops and other sources of livelihood were either vandalised or burnt by bandits. So the state government immediately ordered for their evacuation and safe return to the state “.
According to the Commissioner, the Governor has made adequate arrangements for them to be received and for relief materials to be given to them as they reunite with their family members.
President of the Akwa Ibom Community in Katsina, and a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, Federal College of Education, Katsina State, Chief Effiom Williams, recounting the origin of the incident said, “I got a distress call from our members in Batsari, Danja, Dan Musa and other LGAs that their houses, and shops were being attacked, and I quickly mobilised them into safety in my house”.
“When some of them arrived, they had nothing left because they had lost everything to the crises, so the community had to raise money in order to get them clothes and other effects. We later reached out to the state government for assistance. We are very happy that the Governor has intervened”.
One of the returnees, Mrs Elizabeth Emmanuel, who hails from Ikono LGA but resided in Jibia LGA in Katsina, said her shop and home were razed by the arsonists, who attacked their community at night, killing several people in their sleep.
“We got back home and started hearing loud shooting at night, and we all started running for our dear lives. All I could take out from our house was my children and few clothes. Luckily for us, we were escorted to the IDP camp by soldiers,” Emmanuel said, thanking the government for their intervention.