Leaders of the Eastern Ibibio People Association have been advised to urge their sons in top political positions to channel their energies towards attracting developments to their communities and the state at large.
They have been told to particularly warn one of their sons, Senator Ita Enang to desist from incessantly making insulting, unwarranted and inciting comments against Governor Udom Emmanuel on the media.
These were some of the opinions of some leaders of the Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District Assembly, during a visit by the Eastern Ibibio People Association to Eket last weekend.
The leader of the Eket Senatorial District Assembly, Chief Nduese Essien who hosted the delegation in his compound in Eket, told them that while they are free to agitate for their people to produce the next Governor in 2023, they should do so through peaceful persuasions, consultations and through prayers.
He reminded them that in 2012, when the people of Uyo Senatorial District appeared to have concluded plans to deprive Eket Senatorial District of the rights to get the 2015 slot, the Akwa Ibom South Senatorial Assembly was formed to galvanize support and cultivate people’s interests towards justice for the district.
While acknowledging that Eastern Ibibio People Association was on a good cause, the former federal Minister of Lands and Housing said that “it is not the duty of Eket Assembly leaders to agitate on micro zoning within Uyo Senatorial District.”
“We would advise that you people rather make more efforts towards convincing the other two federal constituencies in your Senatorial District to see reasons to support your position.
“Beyond agitating, you should be able to present credible aspirants that can easily get the support of Akwa Ibom people, because Akwa Ibom has gone past the stage were leaders were chosen to come and develop their areas only”, Chief Nduese Essien said.
On his part, a former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Elder Ime Ekpoattai told the visiting delegation that every leader has his strengths and weaknesses, but they should warn their son Ita Enang to stop insulting the Governor.
Ekpoattai, whose wife previously represented Eket Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, said if Senator Enang couldn’t point at one thing he has achieved for his people in all his years in the federal government, he has no right to be insulting their son who is the Governor, as that could lead to withdrawal of support from Eket federal Constituency to Itu federal Constituency’s aspiration.
Also speaking further, Chief Obot Etukafia, pioneer Commissioner for Finance in Akwa Ibom State and Sir Okon Essang from Oron Federal Constituency, reminded the agitators from Eastern Ibibio that no victory comes easily, and warned them to remain peaceful in their agitations.
They were further advised by Sir Okon Essang to divorce any sefish intention from their movement and be sure they are not doing the bidding of any particular aspirant.
“When we campaigned for our district, we didn’t support any particular aspirant,but when Mr Udom
Emmanuel indicated interest, he was warmly braced by the entire state because he was the best from the other 22 contenders in 2015″, the added.
The Leader of the Eastern Ibibio People Association, Obong (Barr.) Eteyen Archibong claimed that their people in Itu, Ini, Ibiono and Ikono are heavily marginalised over the years and that they have never gotten an appointed Ambassador, a deputy governor and a governor since the creation of Akwa Ibom State hence Itu federal constituency should be favoured.
He claimed that being boundary local government areas, they protect the integrity and sovereignty of the state from external incursions, and deserved support for a shot at the Hilltop plum job.
“We are consulting you to get your support as we did for Eket Senatorial District in 2015. Do not listen to people who attempt to label anyone as a cultist. There is no more cultist in Akwa Ibom, the Governor had since banned Cultism”, they echoed.
While throwing their weight behind the Peace Movement, they said that without justice and fairness, there can’t be peace.
Obong (Barr.) Eteyen Archibong said one of the ways to address the marginalization problem of his area is to allow them produce a Governor in 2023.
“Uyo Senatorial District consists of 3 Federal Constituencies. Etinan Federal Constituency produced Obong Akpan Isemin as Governor, Uyo Federal Constituency produced Obong Victor Attah, but Itu Federal Constituency had never produced a Governor.
It will therefore be equitable to balance the Governorship position in this Senatorial District by zoning it to Itu Federal Constituency for even development.
“We are saying that, for the sake of equity, justice, fair play and peaceful coexistence, governorship seat should not go elsewhere in the Senatorial District apart from Itu Federal Constituency.
“We have come to you, to appeal, to seek your support. We are not violent, we are not fighting. We are simply saying that our brothers in Uyo and Etinan Federal Constituencies having tasted the office before should allow the people of Itu Federal Constituency the opportunity to also have a taste of power”. He stated.
Speaking separately, Dr. Nsima Edet, a former Chairman of Itu Local Government Area and Squadron Leader Effiong Benson, a retired Air force Officer, stated that, the four Local Government Areas have contributed immensely to the state, and should not be deprived.