BY PATRICIA TAFT*
Akwa Ibom has a population of about 3.9 million people according to the 2006 census. Predominantly inhabited by the Ibibio people, the state is also home to Annang, Oron, Obolo and Eket communities. Endowed with large deposits of crude oil, condensate and gas, Akwa Ibom is among the largest petroleum producers in Nigeria. Agriculture also constitutes an important income-generating activity in the state, particularly the farming of palm produce, rubber, cocoa, rice, cassava, yam, plantain, banana, maize, and timber.
Violence in the state was elevated during the gubernatorial elections of 2011. After the re-election of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio (People’s Democratic Party), however, the per capita level of violence dropped significantly. In 2013 violence trended upward, with incidents reported around the capital city of Uyo, the town of Ikot Ekpene, and the coastal Local Government Areas (LGAs) to the south, including issues of land conflict, political tensions, protests, and abductions. Overall, between 2012-2013, Akwa Ibom was the least violent state in the Niger Delta region as measured by reported incidents per capita. In May 2014, major incidents included gunmen reportedly firing bullets into the home of the Vice-Chancellor of University of Uyo and an inter-communal clash leading to the beheadings of three people.
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).
The summaries draw on data collected by FFP’s UNLocK, the Council on Foreign Relations’ NST, WANEP Nigeria, CSS/ETH Zurich, Nigeria Watch, and ACLED integrated on the P4P platform.
* Marcella Aguirre also contributed to this report.