A detachment of soldiers attached to 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ibagwa, Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, said it has successfully foiled planned militants attack as the boundary dispute between Akwa Ibom and Cross River states continues.
The age-long dispute involving the people of Oku Iboku in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and their neighbours from Ikot Ofiong in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, is over ownership of the fishing settlements.
According to the paramount ruler of Itu, Edidem Akpan Inyang, the dispute has claimed no fewer than 200 lives since its resurgence last December.
The traditional ruler told the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Mr Emmanuel Inyang, during his visit to the area that socio-economic activities had been disrupted.
He solicited for the intervention of the Federal Government to guarantee effective patrol by marine policemen around the waterways of Iku Iboku.
The case over the ownership of the area, it was learnt, is already at the Supreme Court.
The traditional ruler sued for peace, saying “it will be in the best interest of both parties to maintain peace while waiting for the final determination of the matter.”
The DIG, who lamented the loss of lives and destruction of property in the intractable feud, assured that he would broker a meeting between Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom and his Cross River State counterpart, Professor Ben Ayade, with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problem.
Meanwhile, soldiers permanently stationed at Ayadeghe near the crisis-torn communities have confirmed the arrest of several militants and suspected cultists, who were planning to launch further attacks at the weekend.
The soldiers, who combed the boundary communities around the Calabar-Itu head bridge area, confirmed the recovery of several war infrastructure including military uniforms, camouflages, T-shirts, singlet and cardigans.
According to a release by the Assistant Director in-charge of Army Public Relations at the 2 Brigade, Ibagwa, Captain Shuaib Umar, 10 mobile phones, bag containing charms, Indian hemp, cash and motorcycles were also recovered from the suspects.
The 2 Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Abdu Ibrahim Hassan, advised residents against taking laws into their hands, urging them to cooperate with security agencies to rout out criminal elements.