Conflict Bulletin:
Akwa Ibom State - Patterns and Trends, 2012-2015

Published August 20, 2015
By Nate Haken and Patricia Taft*
Nigeria Conflict Bulletins
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Overall, between 2012-2015, Akwa Ibom was the second most peaceful state in the Niger Delta region as measured by reported fatalities per capita. Udom Emmanuel of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won the gubernatorial election in April 2015, to replace outgoing Governor Godswill Akpabio (also PDP) who was elected in 2007. Election violence was reported in both 2011 and 2015. After the most recent election, supporters of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) protested the results, alleging irregularities.

Other issues reported in the last three and a half years include land conflict and abductions.

This Conflict Bulletin provides a brief snapshot of the trends and patterns of conflict risk factors at the State and LGA levels, drawing on the data available on the P4P Digital Platform for Multi-Stakeholder Engagement (www.p4p-nigerdelta.org). It represents a compilation of the data from the sources listed below, not necessarily the opinions of FFP or any other organization that collaborated on the production of this bulletin.

The screenshot of the heat map on this page shows the relative distribution of incidents from one LGA to the next from January 2012 to June 2015. The trendline on the next page shows the number of incidents and fatalities over time. The bar chart shows the relative trend of incidents of insecurity by LGA per capita.

The summaries draw on data collected by ACLED, FFP’s UNLocK, the Council on Foreign Relations’ NST, WANEP Nigeria, CSS/ETH Zurich, NEEWS2015, and Nigeria Watch integrated on the P4P platform. They also draw on data and information from “Violence in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends,” by Patricia Taft and Nate Haken (Springer Press, April 2015).

Abak
(Akwa Ibom Northwest Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Political Violence

Two people were reportedly killed during the LGA PDP primaries in April 2012. According to news reports, several other LGAs also experienced political violence during this period. During 2014, the only incident reported was an assassination of a prominent PDP politician, who was shot in March.

Eket
(Akwa Ibom South Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Criminality
> Cult Clashes
> Protests

The second largest city in the state, Eket’s main conflict issues related to localized criminal activity, protest of extractive operations in the area, and cult violence.

In June 2014, a cult clash led to the deaths of two people, who were found in a gutter with machete wounds. In July 2014, youths blocked access to an oil facility in protest of a spill. In October, a retired army officer reportedly killed his son with a machete.

In October 2013, there was a protest against a company operating in the area over the alleged non-payment of expected compensation.

Esit-Eket
(Akwa Ibom South Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Inter-Communal/Land Conflict
> Protests

Protests over oil spills affecting the Nkpana community  occurred in June 2014. Separately, in March 2013, a group, called the "Niger Delta Subterranean Force," allegedly threatened to attack an oil and gas company unless the company agreed to give them contracts to protect the pipeline. A traditional ruler in Esit-Eket was abducted in late October 2013.

In January 2012, there was reportedly a land dispute between two communities, which led to the death of one person.

Ibesikpo Asutan
(Akwa Ibom Northeast Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Domestic and Interpersonal Violence

Issues in Ibesikpo Asuntan mainly related to domestic violence, sexual violence, and child abuse. In April 2014, a man reportedly beheaded two of his cousins with a machete. No violence was reported in the first half of 2015.

Ikot Ekpene
(Akwa Ibom Northwest Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Kidnapping
> Land Conflict
> Cult Clash
> Protests

There was also a cult clash at Akwa Poly, leaving two people dead in March 2014. Consistent with the unrest on student campuses in Uyo, violent protests over student unions were also reported in the Ikot Ekpene campus of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic in September 2014.

In the second half of 2013, there was reported to be a failed rescue operation of an abducted politician in October and a clash over land claiming one life in December.

Apart from some alleged irregularities reported during the April 2012 PDP primaries, Ikot Epkene LGA had few reported deadly incidents.

Ini
(Akwa Ibom Northwest Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Political Violence
> Protest
> Inter-Communal Violence

Three brothers were reportedly killed by gunmen in March 2012 after a clash over the construction of a dam in their village. Three people were also reportedly killed during the local government elections in June 2012. In 2014 there was a report of an intercommunal clash between the Nkari people in Akwa Ibom and the Arochukuni people in Avia, resulting in displacement of people and an unknown number of fatalities. In April of 2015, five people were reportedly killed during violence surrounding the elections.

Ibeno
(Akwa Ibom South Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Inter-Communal/Land Conflict
> Protests

In April of 2015, youth in Ibeno protested after an oil spill. In March 2014, road workers staged a protest against the de-unionization of their company.

In April 2013, a violent land dispute between Ibeno community and another in neighboring Eket LGA led to the deaths of five people and the destruction of dozens of homes, displacing several families.

Mbo
(Akwa Ibom South Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Inter-Communal/Land Violence
> Intra-Communal Violence
> Piracy
> Protests
> Kidnapping

In April of 2015, five Exxon Mobile employees were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in an event reportedly related to the elections.

Mbo LGA has also been affected by piracy including reported incidents in February 2012 and August 2013, leading the government to increase its naval presence in the coastal waters. In July and September 2013, it was reported that there were violent protests over the lack of amenities and compensation by companies operating in the area.

Mbo LGA was affected by intra- and inter-communal tensions in 2012-2013. In January 2013, seven reportedly died in a separate clash over farming land. In March 2013, there was a reported clash in Unyenge community. In November 2013, two women were killed in a renewed clash among Effiat communities. In May 2012, Ebughu and Effiat communities clashed, reportedly killing one.

Oron
(Akwa Ibom South Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Cult Clashes
> Piracy
> Protests
> Political Tensions

Among LGAs in Akwa Ibom, Oron reportedly has a relatively high concentration of cult groups and cultist activities. In January of 2015, tensions between political parties continued as two cars belonging to APC members were lit on fire by hoodlums suspected to be supporters of the PDP.

In the second half of 2014 reports included youth protests over the state government, piracy, and motorcycle bans. In September, piracy attacks reportedly accounted for the deaths of at least two naval officers. In December 2014, youths staged a peaceful protest march in opposition to the selection process for the PDP gubernatorial candidate.

In August 2013, there was a gun battle between the Nigerian Navy and a group of pirates, killing six suspected pirates. In October 2012, four people died in a rivalry between the Black Axe and Vikings cult groups. Separately, at least one former official was reportedly killed for political reasons in 2012.

Uyo
(Akwa Ibom Northeast Sen. District)

Key LGA Risk Factors
> Cult Clashes
> Protests
> Political Violence

Between January and April of 2015, election violence continued, resulting in the reported deaths of up to five people. Additionally, in March the wives of airport employees carried out a protest in favor of higher wages, and in June a man killed his aunt over a private matter.

Student protests at the University of Uyo (UNIUYO) over management decisions to not allow student unions on campus also led to violent clashes in 2014 . The school was forced to briefly shut down in June after a protest turned violent, destroying school property and killing several students. Also affecting UNIUYO, in May 2014, the residence of the University’s Vice-Chancellor was reportedly attacked by gunmen. Similar clashes also broke out during a student protest on the Uyo campus of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic in September 2014, with several people injured. In October, it was reported that a clash between PDP supporters over a list of delegates for the party primaries left one dead while in December there were reports of protests following the announcement of results of the primary elections.

A violent clash among three rival cult groups was also reported in October 2013, killing seven. Additionally, in 2013 there were multiple violent protests, including one in April against a company’s employment policies.

Within and around the capital city of Uyo, there was a series of killings reported in 2012-2013, including that of a former government official in October 2012.

 
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* Hannah Blyth contributed to this report.
 

 
 

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