In 2015, when a group of armed cultists stormed the family farmland of Asi Emmanson to excavate sand, she could not bear the pain of seeing her only means of livelihood and family heritage in ruins.

Seventy-nine years at the time, she developed high blood pressure and died of a heart attack.

She was a promising smallholder farmer who grew palm plants on the farmland she inherited from her late husband, Emmanson Uwaidem.

“Nobody ever tampered with this palm plot right from my youth to when I became mature,” Mrs Uwaidem’s eldest son, Ismaila Uwaidem, who is also the deputy village head of Ikot Ekpuk, a village in the South-west of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, said.

“When I came to confront them, they were prepared to harm me so that they can inherit everything; even some of our properties were damaged just for saying what they were doing was bad.”


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